Study: No ‘Magic Bullet’ for the New TV Bundle

Amid a growing roster of content choices that include a batch of virtual multichannel video programming distributors and subscription video-on-demand services, there’s still no “magic bullet” that will satisfy the TV needs of all consumers, a new study has found.

A great deal of variance continues to exist among consumers as they either look to create their own bundles or lean on others to handle that curation for them, according to a recent survey conducted by Hub Entertainment Research that took a deep dive on how consumers are choosing between traditional pay TV services, new OTT TV offerings and do-it-yourself options.

Hub, which surveyed 2,056 U.S. consumers age 16-74 who watch at least one hour of TV per week and had broadband in February, found that consumers are challenged by the sheer amount of shows and content available to them, and likely won’t add new subscribers without eliminating others.

But there’s no common ground on what will fit the bill, whether they get four or more TV subscriptions, or take three or fewer.

Respondents overwhelmingly said they prefer bundles that let them choose and pay for only their favorite networks. When “faced with overload, viewers crave simplicity.” But only one-fifth of those surveyed said they are clear on how the various options for TV service differ from each other.

And while consumers still like aggregated TV options, they want smaller bundles, which favors the model that most virtual MVPDs are following. When asked to pick from 81 brands (networks and SVOD services), respondents picked a package with 17.5 brands on average, or just 20% of the possible choices.