Cord cutting over? Hardly.
For the first time since Verizon and AT&T launched their TV services in 2006, the Top 6 pay-TV providers in the U.S. lost subscribers for a full year. If that’s not indication enough of the change in the market, the somewhat murky subscriber numbers delivered by those companies for the fourth quarter and full year 2015 may be making the numbers look less awful than they actually are.
Cord cutting has been established as a continuing threat to the pay-TV industry in the United States, and a new report from a research company in Great Britain maintains that consumers globally – especially in mature markets – also are opting to abandon the traditional pay-TV ecosystem, and it advises content owners to create direct-to-consumer offering to mitigate losses associated with cable, satellite and telco TV.
AT&T is offering unlimited data plans to its new and existing wireless customers with the caveat that they also must subscriber to its pay-TV service.
After nine years of pay-TV subscriber losses, Time Warner Cable today said it had added 32,000 pay-TV subs, a preview of what CEO Rob Marcus called a “stellar” 2015.
The operator also added one million broadband subscribers and more than one million voice customers over the past 12 months.
The news came in advance of the company’s scheduled Jan. 28 Q4 earnings release.
Nearly 20% of consumers could cut the pay-TV cord in 2016 a new survey from PricewaterhouseCooper posits, as SVOD services like Netflix and Amazon Prime gain traction and consumers' angst and aggravation at paying for channels they don’t watch boils over.
“Consumers’ relationship with video content is fundamentally changing – and the shift shows no signs abating,” PwC said.
The number of pay-TV subscribers “unsatisfied” with their pay-TV provider reached 24% in Q3 2015, an increase of 2.5% in the past two year, a new report says.
And, while “poor customer service” was one of the top three reasons – as one would expect – “increasing fees” for pay-TV was No. 1, according to Digitalsmith’s Video Trends report, cited by more than 68% of respondents to the survey, and rising fees for Internet was No. 2 (40%).
The Streaming Media West Conference just wrapped in Huntington Beach, CA, and “Friction-Free TV Everywhere Authentication” was one of many lively panels on issues facing the industry.
More bad news for North American pay-TV providers, this time from the Great White North where a look at the nine-month numbers for publicly traded service providers show the industry lost 7X more subs this year than over the same period a year ago.
Ottawa-based research and consulting firm Boon Dog said the top providers were down 153,000 TV subscribers in their respective three fiscal 2015 quarters – record losses – compared to 22,000 subs lost in the same quarters in 2014.
Dish subscriber losses for the third quarter more than doubled to 23,000 from 12,000 a year ago, the company reported Monday. The company said it lost 81,000 subscribers in the traditionally difficult second quarter.
Is the cord-cutting bogeyman finally crawling back under the pay-TV bed in the United States? A number of analysts say that it has, but the numbers just don’t add up to the point where we can put that baby to bed.
In this edition of On the Record, Videomind catches up with Ooyala's Paula Minardi, who sheds light on best practices for engaging and maintaining audiences with continued increase in cord cutting, and discusses how audeinces are evolving (read: fragmenting).