Thursday, 16 June 2011

Cord cutting? Not yet…

A recent CEA survey has shown that despite the hype surrounding “cord cutting”, most consumers in the US are not looking to give up their pay-TV services any time soon. While terrestrial TV services are becoming much less popular (only 8% of US households relying on them), the pay-TV companies are still in a dominant position when it comes to delivering people’s entertainment.

It’s the younger consumers who are more likely to move to completely online viewing, but this research shows that pay TV is still strong. Good news if you’re a pay-TV company, but it also reinforces the fact that content is still king. Pay TV providers invest a huge amount of money in content, and while some of this is available online, if you want to watch a major series like the recently launched ‘Game Of Thrones’ then a pay-TV subscription is the only way to do it (legally).

Most people won’t pay just for technology, no matter how much it’s hyped. But they are prepared to pay for the ‘must have’ content, and at the moment the companies best placed to deliver this are the traditional TV providers. TV is also a social experience, with people discussing last night’s shows over a coffee or around the water cooler, and traditional linear TV, helps maintain this experience. We are increasingly seeing this social aspect online as well, the #apprentice is a popular hashtag on Twitter each week.

On-demand is great for catching up on shows you missed (or forgot to record), and for watching extras about your favourite shows, but linear TV makes it easy to watch good programmes without much effort. At the end of the day, this is what most consumers – me included – are really looking for.

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