Viewers frustrated in discovering content

March 13, 2014 08.37 Europe/London By Robert Briel

vintage_tv-setAlmost one-third (30.9%) of consumers surveyed are overwhelmed by the number of channels offered to them and 88.2% consistently watch the same channels.

According to research by TiVo’s Digitalsmiths, the ever growing choice of pay-TV content, 46% of respondents spend ten minutes or more channel surfing per day, but a resounding 80.3% of consumers still watch only ten or fewer channels.

“Consumers are increasingly frustrated with the user experience delivered by Pay-TV providers,” said Ben Weinberger, co-founder of Digitalsmiths.

“Leading providers strive to address this ongoing issue by creating intuitive, second screen applications that support next generation video discovery solutions. However, with the vast majority of content viewing still happening via the set-top box, until next generation IP based set-top boxes are deployed to the masses, consumer frustration may lead to increased departures to third-party service providers.”

Each quarter, Digitalsmiths’ online survey elicits actual consumer opinions to uncover key trends facing the media/entertainment industry. The survey has become an important way to track consumer trends over time, offering Pay-TV providers real, unbiased feedback regarding consumers’ behaviors, outlook on the industry and expectations for future technologies coming to market.

The Q4 2013 survey results appear to build on a trend Digitalsmiths identified in Q2 2013 dubbed “cord-cheating.” This behavior is represented by 45.3% of respondents who viewed on-demand content from third-party video services and OTT services as an alternative to their Pay-TV provider’s on-demand offerings.

Based on several quarters of data, VOD rentals from Pay-TV providers are appearing to level off, with a consistent 72% to 73% ordering zero movies from their Pay-TV providers. Digitalsmiths believes this is an enormous threat, and one that speaks to the need for consumer-facing improvements.

However, some positive news for cable/satellite providers is that only 19.6% of respondents are unhappy with their current provider. While dissatisfaction issues decreased slightly for the third quarter in a row, the top two reasons remain the same: “increasing fees for cable/satellite service” and “increasing fees for internet service.” Following in a close third was “bad channel selection.”