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In A Brave New World Of Viewing, Consumers Need A New TV Guide

Kristopher Arcand
Data Analyst
October 5, 2017

Streaming behavior continues to increase among consumers, and TV viewing – whether it is through live TV, DVRs, or OTT devices – is a critical part of the viewing mix. With the recent surge in streaming offerings (both individual and those from cable/network content providers), consumers are seizing the chance to control what, when, and how they view their favorite TV shows.

That said, streaming doesn’t have everything, and despite some cord-cutting, consumers have found it hard to make a clean break. A majority of our US ConsumerVoices market research online community members who use streaming services use them to supplement live programming, such as sports and news. Despite some networks allowing consumers to stream certain live content, often if consumers don’t catch it live, they likely won’t be able see it right away – if ever.

While streaming gives consumers control over what content they pay for, consumers are quite pessimistic about the future. For example, they anticipate an increase in the number of streaming options, which means more UX environments to learn and manage. And the unique mix of content per service adds up to a higher overall spend on entertainment and a more fragmented viewing experience.

To support their current customers and find new ones, multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) should step up to the opportunity and define their role in guiding consumers through the future of streaming content. The bundle of the future should trade out bloated packages with channels that consumers will never watch for streaming services with content they’re steadily watching more of. Think about what your customers really care for, and develop packages that fit their needs. For example, if live programming and access to streaming services aren’t enough, MVPDs with wireless plans can offer options like including extras (e.g., double the data) to sweeten the deal.

As my colleague Jim Nail points out in a recent blog post, a few pay TV providers and OTT services alike are already taking the lead in meeting customers’ needs and desires in this new era of customizable, on-demand viewing with innovative offerings. If they’re not table stakes for consumers yet, stay tuned – it won’t be long!

Not a Technographics client and interested in accessing qualitative consumer insights and social trends? Contact us at data@forrester.com.

Kristopher Arcand is a data analyst focusing on qualitative insights. Follow him on Twitter at @kristophersays.

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