Survey: Pay Subs Want OTT Component

Poll sign

A majority of pay TV subs want the ability to stream TV shows and movies to be part of their pay video service.

That is according to a new survey of consumer perceptions of Pay TV services conducted by Parks Associates.

"In late 2019, the market reached the crossover point where the same percentage of US broadband households subscribed to an OTT service as subscribed to a pay-TV service, and now OTT adoption outpaces pay TV by double digits," said Parks Associates senior researcher Kristen Hanich.

The good news is that OTT and traditional pay TV is not currently an either/or proposition since the vast majority of video subscribers (79%) have both a Pay TV and OTT subscription. But Hanich said providers need to come up with new business models or risk losing those video subs.

That is because while online video has grown, cord-cutting has too. "Pay-TV providers must keep offering their most valuable content, which includes live sporting and cultural events," said Hanich. "Additionally, they must offer access to streaming, target new service to their interested customers, and perhaps be willing to take a hit on pricing until this chaotic market stabilizes."

Among the new services the survey found could be value-added are video calls on the TV (43% said they were interested), controlling smart home devices through the TV (40% were interested), and playing on the TV with a cloud gaming service (34%).

According to Parks, the data was based primarily on an online survey of 10,000 heads-of-broadband households polled in third-quarter 2020. 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.