Demand for digital lifestyle in one package gives power to cable

Joseph O'Halloran | 28-10-2012

Cable companies have been given a boost by research finding that consumers have high levels of interest in digital lifestyle packages that aggregate a wide array of service types all available from one supplier.

The inaugural J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Digital Lifestyle Study will come as no little relief to cable firms as they struggle to fend off competition not only from pay-TV rivals but also from over the top (OTT) firms. It found that ultimately consumers are most likely to select a single provider to aggregate television, internet, home security and energy management technologies. Most likely that supplier is a cableco.

Indeed 45% said they would choose a digital lifestyle package from a cable provider, 19% would select a telco; 17% a security provider; and 10% an energy provider. Cable-based digital lifestyle packages were particularly appealing to individuals and families renting an apartment or home. Renters would opt for a cable provider 48% of the time, compared with 43% among homeowners.

The study examines customer brand loyalty, propensity to subscribe to and preferences for aggregation of their telecommunications, entertainment and home energy management services from one provider. Even though it was revealed that a majority of consumers are open to offerings that incorporate a wide array of service types, if the offering focuses heavily on a particular type of service, they prefer purchasing such product from a vendor with experience in that service field.

"Consumers are looking for a way to consolidate invoicing and to manage their lives with easy-to-use digital packages," explained Frank Perazzini, director of telecommunications at J.D. Power and Associates.

"The challenge for consumers is finding an economically attractive service package that meets the feature and functional needs of their household… The opportunities associated with home automation represent a tremendous opening for several industries… The key to the success of these integrated packages will be minimising customer discomfort during the transition process — no surprise charges and no compromises in service, particularly where at least some of the existing service must be moved from another provider."