Among OTTs, DirecTV Now Most Aligned With Consumers' Preferences: Study

Although virtual MVPDs are focused on delivering slimmed-down TV channel bundles, DirecTV Now’s “Just Right” package appears to be the most aligned when it comes to delivering a mix of the “core channels” consumers desire most, TiVo found in its Q2 2017 "Online Video and Pay TV Trends" study.

The lineups of the OTT TV players analyzed in by TiVo (YouTube TV, Hulu, Sling TV and DirecTV Now) have considerable overlap, but the study found that DirecTV Now’s Just Right package delivers 85% of “core channel coverage,” followed by its “Live a Little” package (66.7%), Sling TV’s Orange/Blue combo package (66.7%), Hulu's new live TV offering (63%), PlayStation Vue (59.3%), Sling TV Orange (55.6%), Sling TV Blue (44.4%) and YouTube TV (37%).

TiVo’s data science team built this model by generating seven statistically significant bundles based on the most commonly selected à la carte channels and cross-referencing them with existing virtual MVPD services and packages. Beyond getting a fix on what those "core" channels are, TiVo's analysis also uncovered three key trends/groups: Sports, Lifestyle/Travel and Kids.

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DirecTV Now’s packages “contain the most channels among the OTT bundles analyzed, and therefore score high on coverage metrics,” TiVo said. “While this may not be in the spirit of a true ‘skinny’ bundle, it does represent consumers’ desires and behavior.”

With all of those OTT TV providers factored in, TiVo said their skinny bundles only match the preferences of 43.6% of respondents.

TiVo’s suggestion is that virtual MVPDs should build their slimmed-down packages based on interests or viewing behavior, offering, for example a 35-channel package for sports fans, or a similar one for travel enthusiasts or kids.

“While some channels would overlap, the overall packages would be much more tailored to the individual, returning to a true à la carte spirit,” the company said.