The number of consumers who plan to carry a pay-TV subscription actually increased this year, making fears of widespread cord-cutting seem outsized.
In PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Videoquake 4.0: Binge, Stream, Repeat – How Video is Changing Forever report, the firm found that 84% now plan to take a subscription, vs. 70% in 2015. The number is still down from the 91% in 2014 that said they would take a subscription, but nonetheless, the tide seems to be turning, indicating that many consumers see OTT services as additional rather than replacement services for cable or satellite.
Interestingly, 42% of all US consumers say they are paying more for video content now than last year. But those that went to skinny bundles actually overindex on this metric: About 51% of cord trimmers said they are paying more for TV today than they did last year.
Those interested in high-quality video and live TV are less concerned with pricing, meaning that pay-TV and OTT could be seen as various tools in the tool chest to be used according to context.
Meanwhile, about 76% of respondents said they watched more video on their mobile devices than last year, with about 60% saying their smartphone was the primary device to view both short- and long-term content, including even full-length films. Younger millennials are more likely to watch mobile video, with 70% of 18-24-year-olds saying their phone was the primary place they viewed video content. About 62% of them also said that they watched TV shows on their mobile devices, even at home. In fact, 80% said they watched videos on mobile devices at home vs. only 52% on the go, according to PwC.
“2016 was a watershed year for video consumption,” said the firm. “Streaming services continued to proliferate, leading to more options and more video consumption than ever before. New technologies turned consumers into broadcasters of major events and small life moments alike. Internet bundles rolled out. Skinny bundles are becoming a reality. Content discovery is getting better.”