The à la carte model of television sounds appealing to about half of all consumers in developed markets, who want to avoid paying for bundles which include channels they don't watch.
Research from Irdeto shows that 42% of UK consumers, 46% in Australia, 54% in Singapore and 58% in the US would be interested in changing their current TV service to a package where they could select the specific channels and content that they wanted to watch.
Cost is clearly the main global driver of this willingness to change, with respondents who would consider this kind of package in the UK (77%) and the US (75%) mainly motivated by not wanting to pay for bundled channels they don't watch (compared to 68% in Singapore and 63% in Australia).
Greater control over the channels that they pay for is also important to respondents in the US (62%) and Australia (62%), whereas US consumers are also more likely (53%) to believe this model would be cheaper than consumers elsewhere.
While it's clear that many may not realise that the cost of creating an à la carte experience could actually be equal to – or greater than – current pay TV bundles, it is expected that the desire for hyper-personalisation and choice will still fuel the à la carte trend worldwide.
There are a number of consumers, however, who wouldn't consider shifting to an à la carte TV service model. This is largely because they like the variety of content offered in more traditional packages – particularly in the UK (36%) and Australia (28%). In all countries surveyed, the most popular reason for not wanting to switch is that consumers like having lots of channels to choose from.
Consumers in the UK and Australia were less likely to consider switching also because they are happy with the free TV offering they have under the licence fee – 38% of UK consumers and 51% of Australian consumers mainly watch free TV content.
"This research shows an increasing demand from consumers for content on their terms. Operators must take this into consideration and ensure that they continue to evolve their offerings accordingly to remain competitive in the market," said Richard Scott, SVP of sales and marketing for Irdeto. "The drive towards à la carte can be seen across the industry, with new services looking to cater to that consumer. In addition to offering a compelling multiscreen experience, operators must also price themselves correctly to avoid losing consumers who realize that à la carte services can become quite expensive when added together."