IBC 2015: Research suggests stronger discovery leads to increased content consumption



| 12 September 2015

Online video data firm Rovi has revealed research suggesting that stronger discovery strategies can help pay-TV and over-the-top providers increase content consumption and boost subscriber satisfaction.

The survey sampled the views of 4,000 pay-TV or OTT subscribers in the US, UK, Germany, France, China, Japan and India with the aim of uncovering trends in viewer behaviour related to discovery, search, and recommendations for entertainment content and programming.

Interestingly, and certainly going against the grain of recent research, just 3% of all respondents had actually cut the cord, with the US being the leading land of the pay-TV free on 7%. That said, nearly three-fifths (57%) had given cord cutting either “a lot of” thought or “some” thought.

The most pressing issue pay-TV subs were found to have was actually finding the content that they had paid for. Nearly three-quarters (73%) said they were “extremely” or “somewhat” frustrated when they couldn’t locate enjoyable content taking on average. 19 minutes per day searching for something to watch. Alarmingly as a many as a third said that they frequently found nothing to watch, with 7% turning off their TV or other device “every time” because they can’t find anything to watch.

Somewhat as a comfort to providers, an overwhelming majority of consumers were willing to pay for entertainment programming, provided they could find it. Two-thirds said they would be likely to extend their contract, upgrade their service, or sign up with a provider if they offered better search or recommendations. Just over half of all respondents felt their content provider should focus on improving the customer experience by making it easier and more effective to search for shows while 28% felt their content provider should do a better job of giving helpful TV programme and film recommendations.

Hot on the heels of the launch of the new Apple TV product which will likely boost voice activated TV technology, the research also found that 54% of respondents would either “definitely” or “probably” spend an additional $1.99 (€1.79) per month for access to a new innovative voice command search feature.

“The ultimate goal for service and content providers should be to connect consumers to the entertainment programming that is most relevant to them at any given moment across a range of devices,” remarked Michael Hawkey, senior vice president and general manager of discovery, Rovi. “Providers need to offer the same level of advanced usability that consumers now expect from any other web, mobile or social media service. Specifically, they stand to potentially gain increased revenue and happier customers by providing better search, recommendation, and voice-enabled discovery features.”