Tuesday, April 10, 2018

New TV research finds that viewers are confused by the growing number of TV services, as the novelty of so many options for TV content is starting to wear off.

Are you starting to feel overwhelmed by the growing number of different pay-TV services, each with their own costs and each offering different shows, while you don't know where to really find and watch what?

Well, you're not alone. New research from America that will likely be true for viewers elsewhere in the world as well, has found that a large and growing number of consumers are not just getting more confused about what TV to watch where, but are now also saying they want one source where they want to get their television from.

At the same time, consumers are not keen on getting just one pay-TV service bundle, and less than half of people with a pay-TV subscription say that they feel that their needs as "very well met".

The new research conducted by Hub Entertainment Research, shows the new and growing cognitive dissonance of TV viewers, who have more TV choices than ever before yet feeling less happy and satisfied with what they're getting, while desiring even more, although they want it curated for them from a single source.

While the number of TV choices in America and elsewhere in the world are growing, South Africa and Africa has also seen a flurry of available TV expansion.

Beyond the offerings of e.tv, community TV channels, the SABC as the South African public broadcaster and MultiChoice's DStv, there's also Deukom as well as StarSat from China's StarTimes Media SA as rival pay-TV players.

Then add the growing slew of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services like Naspers' Showmax, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video who are all working hard at making inroads at viewer growth although they're all still at a very small subscriber base in Africa and South Africa.

Where TV viewers had to fork out for MultiChoice DStv as a one-stop shop for access to premium content from the likes of M-Net and SuperSport, all of the best content is no longer just available here.

In addition to a higher-tiered DStv subscription for access to premium programming, South Africans who really want to see all of the best television, now need an Amazon, Netflix South Africa and Showmax subscription as well in order to catch and keep up with the avalanche of all the buzz-worthy, award-winning and must-watch shows from TV's Golden Era.

According to Hub Entertainment Research's "Best Bundle: Consumer Preferences in a Peak TV World", the ever-expanding number of services is confusing consumers.

Just 22% say more TV offerings mean that it's easier to chose what's best for them - down from 11% in 2017.

More than two-thirds of people (69%) say they're keen to access TV content from a single source - yet they don't want a single pay-TV bundle.

A growing number of people (43%) want services that allow them to choose the TV channels they want to pay for - even if this means that the price per individual TV channel is higher and more expensive with a bigger overall cost than a TV bundle where the overall cost is lower but includes TV channels they don't want or care to watch.

"The novelty of having so many options for TV content is wearing off," says Peter Fondulas at Hub Entertainment Research and one of the authors of the study.

"Now consumers want simplicity and efficiency. 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."

Jon Giegengack, the study's co-author says "it is not the price of traditional TV bundles that turns consumers off so much as how much of what they pay goes to content they don't even 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".