Love for SVOD Keeps Spreading: TiVo Study

Consumers continue to gravitate to subscription video-on-demand in greater numbers, whether they’re cord-cutters who’ve left the traditional pay TV realm or “cord-cheaters” who get pay TV but use SVOD offerings to round out their viewing options. That comes according to new research.

TiVo, in its Q4 2017 Online Video and Pay TV Trends Report, found that 68.2% of respondents took an SVOD service, up 4.6% quarter-over-quarter and up 12.8% over two years.

Almost 39% of respondents said they spend $9 to $14 per month on SVOD services, while 13.7% spend $25 or more each month, up 5.5% year-over-year, a further indication that consumers are becoming more apt to subscribe to multiple over-the-top services. Nearly half (48.1%) said they watch one to three hours of SVOD content per day.

TiVo’s study also focused on a broader group of subscription video services that includes SVODs as well as virtual multichannel video programming distributors.

Of note, YouTube TV, which launched last spring, saw adoption jump to 8.5% in TiVo’s survey, putting it ahead of competitors such as Sling TV and DirecTV Now when viewed through the lens of TiVo’s survey of 3,330 adults in the U.S. and Canada.

Netflix, unsurprisingly, led all comers, with 54.8% of the surveyed group subscribing, versus Amazon Prime Video (25.6%), Hulu SVOD (16.7%), YouTube TV (8.5%), HBO Now (6.1%), Showtime (5.6%), Starz (5.2%), DirecTV Now (3.8%), CBS All Access (3.4%), Sling TV (2.4%), PlayStation Vue (2.3%), Hulu Live (2%) and fuboTV (0.8%).

In the study’s latest look at the cord-cutting trend, TiVo found that 85.2% take a pay TV service, but 18.9% cut service in the last 12 months. That latter number is at its lowest since the Q3 2016 survey results, but the number of consumers that have not had a cable or satellite TV service for a period greater than 12 months rose 4.6% year-over-year. That caused TiVo to wonder if consumers are cutting the cord and choosing not to resubscribe later.

Price (86.7%) remains consumers’ top reason for canceling pay TV service, the highest that number has been since TiVo introduced the question in Q3 2016. Use of a streaming service (39.7%) and use of an antenna (23%) rounded out the main three reasons.

TiVo’s study also shed more light on adoption and awareness trends for TV voice search. While both of those are up, adoption continues to lag, as almost half of consumers with access to that capability still don’t use it.

In Q4, 45.3% of respondents said they use a cable or satellite box or remote for voice search, ahead of other platforms — Amazon Fire TV (31.7%), Apple TV (18.1%), game consoles (17.7%), Roku (10.6%) or TiVo’s new Bolt Vox (1.5%). However, TiVo’s new device entrant saw the highest average of voice searches per week, at 8.6, ahead of Apple TV’s 7.6.

As for consumers who aren’t interested in voice search, 53.8% considered it a “gimmick” with no real benefit, down 5% quarter-over-quarter; while 21.3% said they aren’t comfortable talking into a device to find something to watch on TV.