TV consumers show growing desire for aggregation | Pay-TV | News | Rapid TV News
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In what may be an indication of the tyranny of choice, a study from Hub Entertainment Research has revealed increasing consumer frustration with the rapid expansion of TV viewing options.

hub bundle 27feb2018The Best Bundle: Consumer Preferences in a Peak TV World study was conducted in January 2018 among 2,056 US consumers with broadband, who watch at least five hours of TV per week. It highlighted four key trends, all of which pointed to the fact that simply throwing content into bundle options would not result in long-term sustainability of pay-TV packages.

Principally, consumers found themselves forced to create their own TV bundles to satisfy their needs, and only those who subscribe to at least three TV services - such as pay-TV, subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services and virtual MVPDs - were more likely than not to feel that their viewing needs were well met. In addition, and alarmingly, the survey also found the work required to choose between services was becoming more 'onerous'. Hub revealed that only just over a fifth of consumers (22%) agreed with the statement that the growing number of TV services made it 'easy to choose what's best for me'. This represented an 11 percentage point drop compared with the same time a year ago.

As a result, consumers are leaning toward providers that offer an aggregated solution. Among those with a preference, more than twice as many would rather access all their TV content from a single source (69%) than access sources individually (31%). And even with an aggregated solution, viewers only want to pay for the content they were certain they would watch. They overwhelmingly prefer services that let them choose and pay for just the networks they want (43%) over services that offer a large number of networks in a pre-set bundle (10%). This is true even if the larger bundle means a lower cost per network.

"The novelty of having so many options for TV content is wearing off. Now consumers want simplicity and efficiency", said Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and one of the authors of the study. "Bundles that aggregate content from multiple sources are highly desirable - but only if those bundles include little or no content they know they won't watch."

Added the report's co-author, Jon Giegengack: "Consumer preference for an à la carte TV offering has never been higher. It's not the price of traditional big TV bundles that turns consumers off, so much as how much of what they pay goes to content they don't use. Viewers would rather have a bundle comprised of just the content they care about - even if it means they have to pay more for each network."