In the past decade, the pay television landscape has undergone a radical transformation, propelled by the introduction of Netflix’s on-demand streaming service in 2007 and the critical mass adoption of streaming ever since. The introduction of Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV signal a new era of competition to traditional cable, satellite, and fiber optic TV providers. These new digital MVPDs (dMVPDs) offer what the on-demand streaming services do not: They are viable alternatives to traditional pay TV, with the curation, choice, and control perks of streaming, plus the key benefits of traditional providers such as live TV and local broadcast. According to a first look at Horowitz’s upcoming study, State of dMVPDs, 29% of TV content viewers express interest in subscribing to one of the new dMVPDs; 30% among traditional pay TV (cable, satellite, fiber) subscribers.
In the study, respondents are asked which features are most essential in making the decision to subscribe to a dMVPD. The list of top features include those associated with traditional pay TV providers, such as live TV, local broadcast channels, regional sports networks, DVR, and a variety of cable networks. Also considered essential are features that are often antithetical to traditional TV services: Not requiring a contract, not requiring additional hardware such as a dish or set top box, and having the ability to access your entire service on various devices simultaneously, both in and out of the home. Most important, however, is cost: 77% of those interested in a dMVPD say that in order to consider the service, the overall cost will need to be lower than having a cable or satellite subscription.
At the recent NYC Cultural Insights Forum, Horowitz SVP of Insights and Strategy Adriana Waterston previewed these study findings and noted, “These new services are a game-changer because they introduce a new narrative, one that doesn’t pit people who are willing to pay for pay TV against those who cord-cut. Instead, the new narrative is about those who choose to stay with a traditional provider against those who might choose to go with a new provider offering comparable services in a different way.”
State of dMVPDs is a syndicated consumer survey conducted by Horowitz Research in May 2017. The online survey among 1,029 streamers measures market potential for each of the new over-the-top TV providers (digital MVPDs), including Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu with Live TV, and YouTube TV, and provides demographic and attitudinal profiles of those interested in the services. It also covers a wide variety of timely topics related to the new competitive environment for pay TV services. For more information on the study and how to subscribe, please contact Adriana Waterston, firstname.lastname@example.org, 914.834.5999.