Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 05-08-2011
Adoption and ARPU for three-screen (TV/PC/cell phone) subscription video packages, including single-play services, bundled packages and stand-alone OTT services is on the rise, according to new research from Parks Associates.
Pay-TV operators can hold onto their subscribers by embracing the multiscreen opportunity in the UK, but operators aren't so fortunate in the US.
The research firm surveyed users in the UK and the US, and found differences in the two markets. In the UK, which enjoys the second-highest average download speeds in Europe at 3.1 Mbps, 17% of UK pay-TV households with broadband have downgraded their pay-TV service over the past 12 months, turning to advertising-based content for Internet video to fill in the gaps. But roughly 15% of pay-TV households said they would turn to a new provider if offered a TV Everywhere package that included a bundle of additional features. Half of households that said they are now "very likely" to switch would stay with their current provider if offered TV Everywhere for free.
When it comes to devices, 45% of UK broadband households own a computer, an HDTV and a game console. Only 25% of tablet users do not watch any video on their devices.
Meanwhile, in the US, TV Everywhere will be an ineffective retention tool, Parks says. Content consumption is shifting toward subscription online services like Netflix Watch Instantly and services like Hulu that offer TV programmes through an advertising model. A full 13% of pay-TV households have recently downgraded their TV service, and another 9% plan to do so. In addition, 22% of all broadband households now use the Netflix Watch Instantly service.
When it comes to devices, 8 million households now have an iPad, and they frequently use it to watch video. Connected game consoles are the most common method of getting Internet content to the TV.