Thursday, March 17, 2016, 10:34 AM ET|Posted by Will Richmond
60% of pay-TV subscribers are still not aware of TV Everywhere apps allowing TV viewing on mobile devices. That’s one of the key highlights of the 13th edition of the Digitalsmiths quarterly Video Trends Report, for Q4 ’15, which surveyed 3,100 consumers. The 40% awareness level is up just 3.7% since Q4 ’13 and 13.6% since Q4 ’12.
Worse, the Q4 ’15 report found that 21.5% of pay-TV subscribers have their pay-TV provider’s app on their mobile device, a decrease of 3.7% since Q4 ’13 and 4.5% since Q4 ’12. Among those who use their pay-TV provider’s app, 45.4% use it on a weekly basis, flat from Q2 ’15 but up 3.6% from Q3 ’15 when it dipped.
The data paint a relatively dismal picture of how well pay-TV providers have done in promoting awareness and usage of TVE, which is one of the industry’s most strategic initiatives to combat the rising popularity of OTT services that encourage cord-cutting and cord-nevering.
By contrast, TV networks’ apps appear to have been downloaded much less frequently, but are used more intensively by those who have downloaded. In Q4 ’15, CBS displaced ABC and HBO Go as the most-downloaded app (downloaded by 4.6% of respondents). ABC declined from 5.3% in Q3 ’15 to 4.4% to Q4 ’15 with HBO Go dropping from 5.4% to 4.2%. These were followed by WatchESPN (dropping from 4.2% to 3.8%) and NBC (steady at 3.5%).
Though TV networks’ apps have been downloaded a fraction of the time pay-TV operators’ apps have been, they are used more frequently. Respondents using a TV network app weekly rose to 59.3%, from 56.1% in Q3 ’15, as compared with the 45.4% for operators.
As usual, frustration with finding something to watch remained high, with 63.3% of respondents saying they are “always” or “sometimes” frustrated when trying to find something to watch on TV. That level decreased by 2.6% over 2 years and 4.7% over 3 years, but clearly remains stubbornly high.
Stepping back, Digitalsmiths found that 17.5% of respondents said they’d cut the cord in the past 12 months, an improvement over the 19.3% who said they’d done so in the Q3 ’15 survey. Once again, around 45% of cord-cutters said they use an antenna to access basic channels. 55.3% of respondents said they have no plans to change pay-TV operators over the next 6 months, down slightly from Q3. Over 92% of subscribers have stayed with their current operator over the past 3 months.
Almost 60% of respondents said they pay $101/month or more to their pay-TV operator. And over 77% said they’re either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their pay-TV service, up slightly vs. last quarter and last year.
Digitalsmiths found that 55.4% of respondents have at least one SVOD service, down slightly from Q3 ’15. Netflix leads the pack with 48.1% adoption (down from 49% in Q3), followed by Amazon (19.6%, down slightly from 19.9% in Q3) and Hulu (10.6%, down from 12.1% in Q3). Further back, HBO Now was at 4.1%, down from 4.3% in Q3. All other services (CBS All Access, PlayStation Vue, Blockbuster and Sling TV) were below 2% adoption.
As with past surveys, convenience was the most cited reason to use SVOD or rental services, followed by cheaper and ability to watch certain TV shows and full seasons. Digitalsmiths also did a deeper dive on specific features Netflix users liked and how these broke down by pay-TV operator.
The Digitalsmiths report contains lots more data, and as always is one of the most complete surveys of viewer trends and behaviors. It is available as a complimentary download here.
Categories: TV Everywhere
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