Survey: Cord Cutters Clamor for TV/OTT Combos

If cable operators are eager to keep the budding cord-cutting trend in check, they’d be well served to offer an integrated, aggregated one-stop-shop that combines traditional TV services with fare delivered over-the-top, according to a new study from Amdocs.

About 76% of purported cord-cutters or consumers who had reduced the size of their video subscription – sometimes referred to as “cord-shaving” -- said they would reconsider if they were offered a service that aggregates all video content, according to a survey of  750 consumers in North America commissioned by the customer care and billing specialist.

Roughly 66% of all respondents said they would prefer this TV/OTT mix, while 40% said they would pay more for that kind of combination, Amdocs found.

Although cable operators have fared poorly in recent consumer studies, Amdocs said its survey found that MSOs outperformed OTT players in terms of customer service (92%), content (89%), and video quality (83%).

Consumers surveyed also cited content (39%) as their biggest complaint about OTT video providers, followed by customer service (22%). They’ll also pay a 10% premium for a better experience in areas of content (62%), multi-screen provisioning (44%), user interface (30%), and customer service (25%).

The “ideal” pay TV provider would offer additional services such as video gaming (23%), social media (21%), music (18%), and user-generated content (17%).

“The survey shows that in this challenging time for the pay TV market, including competition from OTT players leading to cord cutting and cord shaving and the need to deliver a next-generation experience, MSOs have some clear strengths that can be leveraged both in terms of customer experience and the actual viewing experience,” Nizar Assanie, VP of IE Market Research Corp, the company that conducted the survey, said in a statement. “People are looking towards their MSOs to be the single source of their video and entertainment consumption.”

Operators are taking heed of such advice. Among recent examples, three cable operators – RCN, Grande Communications and Atlantic Broadband  -- recently notched deals with Netflix that enable them to offer the streaming service on leased TiVo-powered devices.

Comcast, meanwhile, is starting to weave in some Internet-based apps with X1, its next-gen, IP-capable video platform. Following initial integrations of Pandora, Facebook, Instagram and the NBC Sports Live Extra app (during the Sochi Games) on X1, Comcast is also testing Movie Night, a movie-picking game that ties in a Web browser-based app with the MSO’s video-on-demand service.