Most Consumers Want A La Carte TV: Study

Though the financial metrics of the pay TV industry still won’t allow it, the vast majority of consumers desire an a la carte model that allows them to pick and choose which channels they pay for, according to TiVo’s latest Online Video and Pay-TV Trends study.

The study, based on a survey of 3,069 adults in the U.S. and Canada, found 77.5% of respondents want a la carte service and are willing to pay, on average, $28.79 per month for a package of self-selected channels, or $1.73 apiece. On average, respondents chose 19 channels for their “ideal” lineup.

The top five channels they’d be willing to pay for: HBO ($2.58), Tennis Channel ($2.45), Fusion ($2.38), Telemundo ($2.31) and Showtime ($2.21). The most popular channel, selected by all respondents, was ABC, followed by Discovery Channel, CBS, History and Fox.

The study also highlights the ongoing pains of the pay TV industry — subscriber erosion.

Per the survey, 22% of respondents said they had cancelled TV service in the past 12 months, up 4.8% year-over-year, while those using antennas to access basic TV channels jumped 12.4% over a two-year period.

On the churn front, of the 83.9% of respondents who do get pay TV, 8.9% have switched providers in the last three months. When asked if they intend to leave their current provider in the next six months, 6.3% plan to cut their current service, 8.1% expected to switch to another pay TV provider, and 4.5% planned to switch to an online service or app.

The study also analyzed a new crop of OTT TV providers, including YouTube TV, Hulu, Sling TV, and DirecTV Now, that offer slimmed-down channel lineups.

Of that group, TiVo said DirecTV Now’s “Just Right” package appears to be best aligned when it comes to the mix of “core channels” consumers want most. TiVo’s Data Science Team built the 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.