Churn watch: Cable MSOs can use OTT to woo back customers
Michelle Clancy | 01-05-2014
Cable MSOs have more to gain from the over-the-top (OTT) video than they do to lose from it, a survey from IE Market Research asserts.

The research shows that just over three-quarters of those respondents who have cut the cord or reduced the size of their subscription stated that they would reconsider if they were given one service that aggregates all video content, in a hybrid TV service.

Thanks to clear strengths in customer experience, providing one service that enables subscribers to search, discover and consume their video content from both MSO and OTT sources can help retain subscribers and drive future revenue growth, the report found. In fact, 66% of all respondents said they would prefer that option, and of those, 40% would be prepared to pay more for such a service. In fact, customers are prepared to pay up to 10% more for outstanding experience in the areas of content (62%), multiscreen provisioning (44%), user interface (30%) and customer service (25%). An ideal pay-TV service would include 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 TV experience, MSOs have some clear strengths that can be leveraged both in terms of customer experience and the actual viewing experience," said Nizar Assanie, vice president of IE Market Research.

He added: "By understanding customer preferences for every aspect of the customer experience ‒ from selling and billing to support and consumption MSOs can leverage their strengths and emerging services to retain their customers and drive growth. People are looking towards their MSOs to be the single source of their video and entertainment consumption."

MSOs are already viewed by respondents as outperforming OTT players in terms of customer service (92%), content (89%) and video quality (83%), while the most complaints about OTT players' performance centre on content (39%) and customer service (22%).

However, the shape of the packages matter. For instance, half of consumers polled would like to pay only for the channels or content they watch in an la carte model, 19% want a basic package plus only the channels and content they watch, and 31% want a one-size-fits-all package. 31% also said they wanted this one-size-fits-all package as part of a larger bundle of communication services.

"The combination of Amdocs' CES 9.1 portfolio, strategic partnerships and services enables MSOs to deliver next-generation TV experiences that ensure MSOs can capitalise on all aspects of the viewing experience," said Rebecca Prudhomme, vice president for product and solutions marketing at Amdocs, which sponsored the survey.