Survey(s) Sez: Fight Pay TV Churn in the Back Office

Two back office vendors have reached similar conclusions about how to fight OTT-induced churn in the traditional pay TV business.

The surveys, one from Amdocs (NASDAQ:DOX) and the other from CSG Systems (NASDAQ:CSGS), came out this week and indicate that pay TV consumers are - to varying degrees - likely to either cut the cord or shave it down substantially. Both surveys examine the state of pay TV in a video landscape increasingly dominated by over-the-top (OTT) video, though from somewhat different angles. In addition to pointing out threats, each also suggests ways for traditional pay TV providers to remain relevant in an OTT world.

The Amdocs survey, conducted by 451 Research Group, indicates that 79% of North American cable and satellite pay TV customers are considering reducing their spending on their pay TV services. Among Millennials, aged 18 to 34, the percentage is higher at 84%. Reasons for the cutbacks include rising subscription costs (89%), irrelevant channel offerings (84%) and dissatisfaction with current levels of customer service (77%).

"The big take-away here is that pay TV providers need to reinvent themselves to stay relevant: Nearly eight out of 10 North American subscribers are considering canceling or reducing their spending," said Sheryl Kingstone, industry customer experience analyst at 451 Research. "People now have more choices than ever on how they view video - mobile device, on-demand, over-the- top (OTT) - and service providers need to respond to this world of digital immediacy."

The CSG survey, conducted by the Diffusion Group, focuses more on the use of streaming video services and the impact of streaming on pay TV services. CSG's cord-cutting and -shaving data come in much lower than Amdocs,' with 20% of streaming video users surveyed planning to switch, downgrade or disconnect their pay TV services in the next six months. CSG's data also indicates that Millennial streamers see decreased value in their pay TV services because of their streaming choices.

What to Do?

So, what can pay TV operators do to improve their situation? Both surveys indicated that respondents want a "one-stop shop" for all their video, regardless of source. In other words, they want a user interface that gives access to video from the pay TV operator, OTT providers such as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), free videos from YouTube, etc.

CSG's data indicate that 48% of consumers surveyed are interested in a new type of bundle that offers the ability to search for content across multiple services, use a single recommendation engine, receive multi-service discounts and have unified billing.

"Two-thirds of U.S. broadband households use a subscription video service like Netflix," said Michael Greeson, TDG co-founder and director of research. "Forty percent of this segment subscribe to multiple streaming services, making them prime prospects for value-added services that deliver a new level of user engagement and blend multiple services into a single experience."

Similarly, Amdocs' data indicate that a "super aggregator" opportunity exists for cable operators who can manage all video content for their customers: 78% of respondents (86% of Millennials) said they would be more willing to maintain their current pay TV subscription if it offered a single source to easily search, discover and watch content, including the ability to watch online video and access content from OTT services like Netflix.

Neither churn nor the OTT threat are new, and neither is the super aggregator idea (I wrote about it a year ago). What is new and interesting is that Amdocs and CSG are investigating the idea seriously.

Get the Broadband Technology Report Newsletters Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to email newsletters today at no cost and receive the latest information on:

  • Video Technology
  • Network Technology
  • Technology Alerts
  • BTR LATAM (Latin America)

SCTE-Cable Tec Expo 2016 Video Show Dailies

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 3

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 3

In our Video Show Daily for Day 3 of exhibits at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Philadelphia, BTR Editorial Director Stephen Hardy covers trends in distrib...

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 2

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 2

In our Video Show Daily for the second day of exhibits at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Philadelphia, BTR Editorial Director Stephen Hardy highlights furt...

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 1

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 1

BTR Editorial Director Stephen Hardy reviews the hot technologies and announcements from the first day of exhibits at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016 in P...

Diamond Technology Reviews - 2016 High Scores

2016 Diamond Technology Reviews Slideshow

2016 Diamond Technology Reviews Slideshow

Diamond Technology Reviews 2016

Diamond Technology Reviews 2016

BTR's Diamond Technology Reviews, now in its twelfth year, is a technology recognition program wherein vendors serving the broadband cable ...

Related Articles


ANSI OKs 3 SCTE Standards

October 14, 2016

The American National Standards Institute has approved three SCTE s...

Fitch Ratings

Fitch: Video Disruption Favors Content Owners

October 13, 2016

According to Wall Street analyst firm Fitch Ratings, increasingly fragme...

Number of screens per U.S. broadband household

As Screens Multiply, Home Networks Evolve

October 13, 2016

According to the Diffusion Group, the number of video-capable screens is...


2016 SCTE Cable-Tec Expo Wrap Up

Whether you couldn't make it to Cable-Tec this year or want to see if you missed anything while you were there, you'll want to join BTR editors Stephen Hardy and Ron Hendrickson as they reveal their picks for the...

October 12, 2016
Sponsored by

Counting the cost: Efficiently transitioning from HFC to FTTH

HFC networks are uniquely positioned to provide compelling and competitive services, and are also uniquely positioned to transition to symmetrical FTTH as commercial requirements demand.  This webinar will d...

Date:September 22, 2016
Sponsored by

Maintaining High Quality of Experience in an Adaptive Bitrate System

This webinar will look at the many points in an ABR system where the video is touched.  From ingest (satellite, file, and IP), to egress, each point should be qualified for compliance to help maintain a high...

Date:August 25, 2016
Sponsored by

White Papers & Special Reports

Cable VoIP 2.0: Voice Moves to the Cloud

October 2016

Cable providers led the charge on the VoIP evolution and won customers and market share. Now voice networks are evolving again. The cloud voice platform has ...

Understanding Ultra High Definition Television

October 2016

Over the last 10 years, high definition television (HDTV) has been replacing standard definition television as the expected viewing format for television pro...

Are You Ready for DOCSIS 3.1? The Future of Cable Technology and How to Prepare Your Network

October 2016

DOCSIS 3.1 promises 10x capacity throughput and a range of technical benefits for cable providers and users alike. Are you ready? Discover the technical adva...

BTR Blogs

BTR Managing Editor Ron Hendrickson

FCC Rethinks Set-Top Plan

September 10, 2016

By Ron Hendrickson - The FCC has reworked the "unlock the set-top b...


In Memoriam: Richard Covell

August 18, 2016

By Rob Stuehrk, Publisher - We at Broadband Technology Report were sadde...

BTR Managing Editor Ron Hendrickson

Court Overturns FCC Municipal Broadband Order

August 11, 2016

By Ron Hendrickson - You win some, and you lose some, and the FCC just l...

Featured Hangouts

4K 4 U: How to Prepare for UltraHD Video

4K 4 U: How to Prepare for UltraHD Video

4K/UltraHD video is coming - consumers are buying the TV sets, and more content is becoming available. Watch this inf...

DOCSIS 3.1: A Look Ahead

DOCSIS 3.1: A Look Ahead

Watch a 30-minute video chat of experts from a variety of related disciplines discuss how close deployments really ar...

Featured Hangout

4K 4 U: How to Prepare for UltraHD Video

4K/UltraHD video is coming - consumers are buying the TV sets, and more content is becoming available. Watch this informative Hangout on demand by clicking the link above.

Sponsored by Verimatrix.