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Cord Cutting is All Talk, Provided Consumers Can Find the Shows they Want

New Rovi Survey Suggests Stronger Discovery Strategies can Help Providers Increase Content Consumption and Boost Subscriber Satisfaction

SANTA CLARA, Calif. and AMSTERDAM(12 Sep 2015)

Rovi Corporation (NASDAQ: ROVI), a global leader in entertainment discovery, today released findings from a sponsored survey of pay-TV and over-the-top (OTT) content subscribers in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. The global study aimed to uncover trends in viewer behavior related to discovery, search, and recommendations for entertainment content and programming. 

Above all, the survey revealed that despite widespread panic among traditional pay-TV providers over subscribers cutting the cord, only three percent of global viewers had actually done so. However:

  • 57 percent of all respondents had given cord cutting either “a lot of” thought or “some” thought
  • At seven percent, the U.S. had the highest number of actual cord cutters compared to the other regions
  • In Germany, France, China, and India only two percent of respondents in each of those countries were actual cord cutters 

Moreover, instead of service fees, the survey found difficulty of content discovery to be chief among viewers’ woes.

  • Nearly 73 percent of all respondents said they are “extremely” or “somewhat” frustrated when they can’t locate enjoyable content.
  • On average, respondents spend 19 minutes per day searching for something to watch
  • 33 percent said they frequently find nothing to watch, along with seven percent who turn off their TV or other device “every time” because they can’t find anything to watch

Overwhelmingly, consumers are willing to pay for entertainment programming, provided they can find it.

  • 67 percent of all respondents said they would be likely to extend their contract, upgrade their service, or sign up with a provider if they offered better search or recommendations
  • 51 percent of all respondents felt their content provider should focus on improving the customer experience by making it easier and more effective to search for shows
  • 28 percent felt their content provider should do a better job of giving helpful TV program and movie recommendations
  • 90 percent of respondents in both China and India said they would likely sign up with a provider that offered more effective search or recommendations

In keeping with their desire for easier content discovery, viewers also revealed interest in natural language voice-based entertainment queries.

  • 54 percent of all respondents said they would either “definitely” or “probably” spend an additional $1.99 (€1.79) per month for access to a new innovative voice command search feature
  • In India and China, 78 and 70 percent of respondents, respectively, would pay for such a feature

“The ultimate goal for service and content providers should be to connect consumers to the entertainment programming that is most relevant to them at any given moment across a range of devices,” said Michael Hawkey, senior vice president and general manager of discovery, Rovi. “Providers need to offer the same level of advanced usability that consumers now expect from any other web, mobile or social media service. Specifically, they stand to potentially gain increased revenue and happier customers by providing better search, recommendation, and voice-enabled discovery features.”

The research findings were the result of an online survey of 4,000 pay-TV and OTT subscribers across seven countries worldwide with 1,000 interviews completed in the U.S., and 500 interviews completed each in the U.K., France, Germany, China, Japan, and India[i] .

Rovi released the findings of its global survey at IBC this week and will showcase its comprehensive suite of entertainment discovery and monetization solutions in Stand G01, Hall 14. Learn more about Rovi and the company’s IBC show announcements at http://www.rovicorp.com/ibc2015.

About Rovi Corporation

Rovi is leading the way to a more personalized entertainment experience. The company’s pioneering guides, metadata and recommendations continue to drive program search and navigation on millions of devices across the globe. With a new generation of cloud-based discovery capabilities and emerging solutions for interactive advertising and audience analytics, Rovi is enabling premier brands worldwide to increase their reach, drive consumer satisfaction and create a better entertainment experience across multiple screens. Rovi holds over 5,000 issued or pending patents worldwide and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California. Discover more about Rovi at Rovicorp.com.

About the Survey Methodology

  • A total of 4,000 online surveys were completed spread across seven countries worldwide – 1,000 interviews were completed in the U.S. while 500 interviews were completed within each of the following countries – U.K., Germany, France, China, Japan and India. 
  • Participants had to be a pay-TV subscriber, subscribe to other TV or video content providers, or use online streaming devices.
  • The total sample was weighted so each country represented the same number of interviews. Additionally, the country samples were stratified and the data was weighted slightly by regions, age, gender, education, and income in order to reflect a proportional, representative sample.
  • The U.S. survey has a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points for the full sample. The other countries have a margin of error of +/-4.4 percentage points for their full samples. The margin of error is higher for subgroups within each sample.