ABC Would Win an A La Carte Popularity Contest: Study

The Pay TV model remains far from an a la carte model despite the introduction of slimmer bundles, but a fresh study from TiVo offers a sense on which channels would be the most popular and how much consumers would be willing to pay for them in a bundle-free world.

ABC, at 70.7%, would be the most-desired channel and consumers would be willing, on average, to pay $1.52 per month for it, according to TiVo’s Q3 2016 Video Trends Report, based on a survey of 3,100 adult consumers.

CBS was next (70.1%/$1.55), followed by NBC (65.5%/$1.54), Discovery (62.1%/$1.53), and History (59.7%)/$1.54).

About 78% said they’d be interested in an a la carte packaging option.

For packaging, consumers said they’d be willing to pay $15.30 per month for the top 10 channels, and $32.92 per month for their 20 favorites.

The study also looked at broader pay TV trends, and found that 17.9% had cut cable or satellite TV service in the past year, with the three top factors being price (82.9%), reliance on OTT services (59.5%), and use of an OTA antenna to get broadcast TV channels (28.1%).

Of those who still get a cable or satellite TV service, 9.1% said they switched providers in the past three months, up slightly versus the prior quarter and year TiVo conducted the survey.

Of those that intended to change providers in the next six months, 5.6% said they plan to cut service altogether, versus 7.1% who will switch to another provider, and 2.5% who will go to an online service or app. Almost 30% are on the fence as a “maybe.”

“While this is a large portion of the respondents, the positive news for pay-TV providers is that this group of “at risk” respondents decreased 4.8% q/q,” TiVo said.

The data also shined the light on what would make consumers reconsider, with 65% saying they’d stay if a more flexible package structure was offered, and 43.5% saying they’d want an integrated solution that ties in access to OTT services such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Video.

With respect to OTT, 61.9% said they use a monthly SVOD service, down 2% versus TiVo’s Q2 survey results. Similar to Q2 numbers, 10% of respondents said they share an SVOD account without paying.

Traditional MVPDs are using authenticated TV Everywhere services to fight cord-cutting while also delivering multiscreen options. The Q3 survey found that 47.1% were aware that their provider offers TVE apps, up 4% year-over-year, and up 12.5 over a three-year span.

About 28.1% said they use their pay TV provider’s TVE app, up 4.4% year-on-year.

In terms of usage, the top programmer apps were CNN (5.6%), ABC, HBO Go and WatchESPN (4.8% each), CBS (3.8%), NBC (3.4%), Fox (3%), HBO Now (2.8%) and Fox News (2.7%).