TV Subs Increasingly ‘Overwhelmed’ By Channel Tonnage: Survey

A growing number of pay-TV subs are "overwhelmed" by the number of channels offered to them, Digitalsmiths found in its latest consumer survey of video trends.

Digitalsmiths, the TiVo-owned video search and recommendation firm, said 30.9% of those surveyed fell into this category, the highest percentage since Digitalsmiths started its quarterly survey in late 2012.

Additionally, 88.2% watch the same channels over and over, while 80.3% watch ten channels or fewer, reducing the value of large subscription TV packages, while 38.1% said they found it difficult to find something to watch, noted Digitalsmiths, which, of course, believes its platform can help to remedy this issue.

Of those surveyed, 15.1% watch five channels, 18.5% watch ten, and 5.2% watch more than 20 channels. Additionally, just 12.8% of the surveyed group said they know most of the time what they’re going to watch when they plop down in front of the TV.

Among other findings, pay-TV provided VOD services continue to struggle, with 72.8% of respondents saying they aren’t ordering movies from their provider’s VOD catalogs, with just 27.2% said they rent one or more videos from their provider each month. About 45.3% of respondents said they use an OTT subscription service such as Hulu or Netflix, a small decrease in “cord-cheating” that Digitalsmiths’ found in its third quarter consumer survey (48.2%).  

On the TV Everywhere front, awareness remains a central issue. But the good news is that 21.6% said they had downloaded their pay-TV provider’s app, a slight increase from the previous period.

The prevalence of cord-cutting remained relatively unchanged, as 2.6% said they planned to get rid of their cable or satellite TV service, while 6.7% said they planned to change providers. Almost 48% said they would considering keeping their pay-TV  service if it offered features that helped them find something to watch.

The survey offered a mixed bag for premium channels, which were tops among services consumers were considering cutting or adding to their pay-TV packages.

For the study, Digitalsmiths 3,140 adults in the U.S. and Canada were surveyed.