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Content discovery is becoming a key part of the TV viewing experience, and may be an advantage for subscription video-on-demand services over traditional TV, per research from TiVo. In its Q2 report on pay-TV and video trends, TiVo found that while 87% find it easy to find something they “want” to watch on OTT and SVOD services, only 67% agreed with respect to pay-TV.

There are indications in the report that viewers would like a more integrated search and content discovery function on their TV that works across services.

For example, a majority (53%) would like to be able to search for TV shows and movies across all of their TV services, whether that be cable, Netflix, Hulu or something else.

Viewers were also asked if they prefer using individual TV apps (such as Netflix or Hulu) to find something to watch, or prefer a unified format that combines all of their services’ content into a single guide that includes cable/satellite and OTT content.

Responses were more mixed on this front. There didn’t seem to be a clear preference between the completely unified format (all content from apps and pay-TV service – 20%), a guide that shows what’s on across all apps only (17%) and a preference for going into individual apps (22%).

For what it’s worth, one-quarter of respondents aren’t interested in using apps on their TV, while about one-sixth don’t have the ability to use them.

If pay-TV providers aren’t able to incorporate, say, Netflix content into their guides, adopting the Netflix carousel style could prove appealing. The majority would like their channel guide changed, either to categorize content into groups/lists of TV shows or movies (23%) or to provide them with that option alongside their typical guide (33%).

That could potentially help pay-TV providers retain their customers: previous research from TiVO found TV viewers saying that an OTT-like user interface could curb their inclination to cut the cord.

About the Data: The data is based on a survey of more than 3,050 US and Canadian adults (18+).

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