Local Programming A Key Differentiator for Pay-TV

While the cord-cutting trend continues, many consumers are reluctant to completely eliminate pay-TV, with local channels (55%) cited as a key strength that isn’t available on OTT services such as Netflix, per Hub Entertainment Research.

Each format has its clear advantages. Pay TV viewers also appreciate the ability to watch live TV (51%) and the picture quality (50%), with many also pointing to the ability to record shows (44%) and bundle with other services (32%) as key strengths. Netflix fans, meanwhile, appreciate that it is ad-free (69%), that they can binge-watch shows (66%), its low price (64%), and access to all past episodes (62%) among others.

Interestingly live TV is important to both pay-TV subscribers and Netflix subscribers. Netflix subscribers estimate devoting as much time to live TV (26% of their total viewing time) as they are to Netflix (27%). Recent research backs up these findings with evidence that even the heaviest OTT viewers spend more than twice as much time with traditional TV than with OTT video.

Meanwhile, the Hub survey reports that SVOD subscribers are increasingly opting for multiple services: in 2015, just 4% reported having 3 or more subscriptions, but in this latest study, almost 1 out of every 3 SVOD users reported having that many. These results are supported by another study revealing how SVOD customers are using multiple services, suggesting that consumers may be increasingly interested in creating their own custom viewing bundles.

About the Data: The report is based on a April 2017 survey of 2,026 consumers ages 16-74 who watch at least 5 hours of TV per week and have broadband at home.