16 Apr PwC: Streaming Toward Success
Streaming continues to increase among all age groups, and nearly half of consumers say the services they’re using were acquired in just the last six months. This is good news for providers in the video space. Or, is it?
While it’s true that cord cutting has more momentum than ever—the number of people who use Netflix is now the same as the number who use Pay TV—there are some signs of unrest in the world of streaming. A majority of cord trimmers regularly subscribe to trials but don’t keep their subscriptions when the trial period ends. The viewing process isn’t efficient enough for many users who appear to have increasing appreciation for the ease of Pay TV. Perhaps most troubling, consumers are drowning in an ever-growing ocean of content. Thriving in this fast-evolving and cluttered environment will require sharper focus on viewing habits and preferences, new ways of bundling services, and building customer relationships with staying power.
Here are some insights we’ve gleaned about what consumers want in their TV experience (and what they are willing to pay for).
Keeping up with content and subscriptions — consumers we surveyed subscribe to four services on average — frustrates viewers who are looking for a more relaxed and efficient experience. Streaming services need to find a way to replicate the ease of traditional TV viewing without giving up access to a wide variety of content, including exclusive offerings. User experience can be a game changer when viewers have so many—perhaps too many—options.
Sports fans are tied to the cord–for now. 81% subscribe to Pay TV, but a large majority would trim or cut their subscription if they no longer needed it to access live sporting events (offerings that are already a reality). What’s more, they would be willing to pay a premium to be able to watch live sports on more platforms and devices, as much as $23 a month for unlimited access. Here is an enthusiastic audience eager for interactive content and streaming options.
Unburden with Bundles
Viewers are overwhelmed, but creating a more streamlined, manageable experience may not be a question of “either/ or.” Pay TV and streaming subscription service providers willing to enter into new partnerships and create innovative types of bundles can unburden viewers and share their attention—and their loyalty.
Build a Strong Brand
Original content appeals to viewers, but they favor programs produced by providers with an established reputation. If given the choice between a wide variety of options or exclusive content, they’d choose the former. And while a lot of Pay TV customers subscribe to the trial versions of streaming services, most don’t stick with the service when the trial is over. Providers that focus on building strong, long-term relationships with consumers, along with content development, can rise above the sea of clutter.
Transforming Content Discovery
Improvements in content discovery will drive success on every platform, but none more so than video. Quite simply, people are struggling to find something to watch, despite the vast menu of choices. And ‘cord nevers’ (those who have never subscribed to cable, satellite, or telco services) have the highest level of dissatisfaction. Platforms and providers that create intelligent tools for superior content curation and offer their subscribers relevant, targeted choices can strengthen their brands, build loyalty, and help keep the video streaming revolution from collapsing under its own weight.
Paige Hayes is U.S. Advisory Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT) Leader, PwC.
For more insights about tapping into the opportunity of the streaming boom and improving content discovery, please see our publications I stream, you stream–Winning in a video world and Can you find that show I didn’t know I wanted to watch? How tech will transform content discovery, PwC Consumer Intelligence Series original research reports.