Younger viewers shun pay-TV as search difficulties lead viewers to off button | Media Analysis | Business
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Service providers need to appeal to a highly segmented viewer composition amidst fierce competitive pressure says a TiVo survey of pay-TV and over-the-top (OTT) service subscribers across the US, Europe and Latin America.

The study revealed that globally, respondents watch an average of 4.4 hours of video content each day.

While just over half (55%) of pay-TV subscribers in the US and 42% in Western Europe have had service with their current provider for four years or more, in Latin America this was just over a third. Not surprisingly, the survey found that in the US and Western Europe, tenured pay-TV subscribers are much more likely to be baby boomers instead of millennials, which was in stark contrast with Latin America where the distribution of age groups is fairly even. Among those in the US who have been with their provider for four years or more, 51% were boomers while only 11% were millennials.

Yet despite these loyal customers, a quarter of those who have had pay-TV services for less than 12 months are “extremely likely” to cord cut or cord shave in the next six months. Looking regionally, In Western Europe, just 43% of those who have had their pay-TV service for four years or more subscribe to an OTT service, compared with 49% in the US and 67% in Latin America.

“As new, shiny OTT services and streaming devices continue to proliferate in the market and compete for consumer attention, there is considerable risk that younger generations may come to view pay-TV as an antiquated service that doesn’t play a role in their daily lives,” remarked TiVo vice president of strategy and research Paul Stathacopoulos. “Service providers must focus on delivering entertainment experiences that are compelling to a highly segmented viewer composition. By staying ahead of the curve through technology innovation, providers can retain longer-term subscribers, while attracting young consumers by adapting the TV experience to include a wide array of internet video services and viewing devices.”

TiVo also found that advanced voice technology was winning over consumers. The survey found that on average, 60% of global respondents who own a voice remote use it frequently or every day and almost two-thirds of those who own voice-controlled home assistants use them frequently or every day.

In a wake-up call to service providers, the survey found that more than 38% of viewers shut down and turn off their devices altogether when they can’t find something to watch. Half “strongly agree” that, for the amount they pay for their TV service, it should be easier to find what they want to watch, while just over a quarter say they would pay more each month for a service that simplified video discovery across all the services they subscribe to.

“As video entertainment options expand, consumers around the world continue to consume a vast amount of content across services and devices,” Stathacopoulos continued. “But without a shift or focus on innovating the way consumers connect to entertainment, hyper-fragmentation will continue to be a barrier, driving consumer frustration and impacting how the industry captures the entertainment wallet share.”

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