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Pay TV - US - October 2013

“Pay TV providers have invested heavily in new services, with a focus on anywhere, anytime, and any screen viewership, large video-on-demand libraries, and apps for watching content on phones and tablets. However, some central themes of the digital era have yet to be addressed, including personalization of content and ads. A failure to adapt soon will enable internet-based streaming services to become more legitimate competitors.”

– Billy Hulkower, Senior Technology Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Is the future a la carte?
  • Are online subscriptions hurting sales?
  • Sports programming: a solution or a problem?

 

Pay TV stands in the lull before the storm. Subscriptions have risen annually since the industry began until 2013, when they fell by 80,000.

Providers have been raising prices to make up for the lack of growth in subscriptions, even though the primary reason why consumers change service is to find a lower-cost service. Simultaneously, new competitors are gaining steam or just arriving at the door: Netflix is now in one in four U.S. households, while Google and Intel are preparing their own pay TV services.

With so many changes to the industry striking simultaneously, pay TV providers are searching for a new orientation, with a focus on loyal customers willing to pay top dollar for services. This report provides necessary tools for achieving this objective. 

For the purposes of this report, pay TV is defined as a service that delivers television channels to homes. Video signals can be transmitted through coaxial cable, fiber optic cable, and satellite DISH. The report covers the distribution of TV programming but not the production of content.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                      • The market
                        • Slow decline in sales
                          • Figure 1: Fan chart forecast of cable and satellite sales from video subscriptions, at current prices, 2008-18
                        • Share to remain largely static between cable and satellite
                          • Figure 2: Cable and satellite share of sales, 2013
                        • XFINITY largest provider
                          • Figure 3: Carrier share of subscribers, August 2013
                        • Internet video services becoming more competitive
                          • Figure 4: Reasons for not subscribing, August 2013
                        • The consumer
                          • Mature market offers limited room for growth
                            • Figure 5: Intent to subscribe, by age, August 2013
                          • One in four subscribers open to changing service
                            • Figure 6: Interest in switching providers, by age, August 2013
                          • Price far and away lead reason for changing service
                            • Figure 7: Interest in switching carriers to acquire a cheaper service, by age, August 2013
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                              • Is the future a la carte?
                                • Issues
                                  • Insights
                                    • Are online subscriptions hurting sales?
                                      • Issues
                                        • Insights
                                          • Sports programming: a solution or a problem?
                                            • Issues
                                              • Insights
                                              • Trend Application

                                                  • Inspire Trend: The Nouveau Poor
                                                    • Inspire Trend: Influentials
                                                      • Mintel Futures: Generation Next
                                                      • Market Size

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Subscriptions peaked in 2011
                                                            • Figure 8: Cable and satellite sales, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                            • Figure 9: Cable and satellite sales, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2008-18
                                                          • Fan chart forecast
                                                              • Figure 10: Fan chart forecast of cable and satellite sales, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                          • Market Segmentation

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Overview
                                                                • Figure 11: Cable vs. satellite sales, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                              • Cable
                                                                • Figure 12: Cable sales of video subscriptions, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                              • Satellite
                                                                • Figure 13: Satellite sales of video subscriptions, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                            • Competitive Context

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Besieged by internet VOD
                                                                  • sVOD creeping up list of reasons for not subscribing
                                                                    • Figure 14: Reasons for not subscribing, by age, August 2013
                                                                    • Figure 15: Reasons for not subscribing, by presence of children in household, August 2013
                                                                • Leading Companies

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Comcast top provider overall and at high-end
                                                                      • Figure 16: Pay TV provider, by household income, August 2013
                                                                      • Figure 17: Pay TV provider, cable/satellite and telco, by age, August 2013
                                                                  • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                    • ESPN goes freemium on Apple TV
                                                                      • Viggle rewards viewers
                                                                        • Figure 18: DIRECTV promotion of Viggle service, 2013
                                                                      • XFINITY Insider, Optimum Rewards put loyalty in sight
                                                                        • Figure 19: Participation in pay TV loyalty programs and sweepstakes, by age, August 2013
                                                                      • TWC on-boards Roku
                                                                        • DIRECTV gets exclusive
                                                                          • XFINITY gets its game on via partnership with EA
                                                                            • Verizon offers sports-free
                                                                            • Marketing Strategies: DVR, VOD, and Streaming

                                                                                • Overview
                                                                                  • Figure 20: Use of TV everywhere and provider apps, by age, August 2013
                                                                                • DISH Anywhere
                                                                                  • Figure 21: DISH Network Boston Guys “Bat” television ad, 2013
                                                                                • DIRECTV
                                                                                  • Launches “Genie” DVR
                                                                                    • Nomad becomes GenieGO
                                                                                      • AT&T continues to rethink possible
                                                                                        • Figure 22: AT&T Total Home DVR “Rooms” television ad, August 2013
                                                                                      • Verizon updates FiOS for out-of-home streaming
                                                                                        • Figure 23: Verizon Flex View VOD “NHL Playoffs” television ad, 2013
                                                                                      • Xfinity touts ‘The Most Live Sports’
                                                                                        • Figure 24: Xfinity “Most Live Sports—Mattress” television ad, September 2013
                                                                                      • TWC TV ventures outside of the home
                                                                                        • Figure 25: Time Warner Cable “Enjoy Better—On Demand” television ad, September 2013
                                                                                    • Social Media

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Key social media metrics
                                                                                            • Figure 26: Key performance indicators, September 2013
                                                                                          • Market overview
                                                                                            • Brand usage and awareness
                                                                                              • Figure 27: Brand usage and awareness of pay TV brands, August 2013
                                                                                            • Interaction with brands
                                                                                              • Figure 28: Selected AT&T U-verse Twitter Mentions, September 2013
                                                                                              • Figure 29: Interaction with pay TV brands, August 2013
                                                                                            • Online conversations
                                                                                              • Figure 30: Online mentions, selected pay TV brands, Sept. 23, 2012-Sept. 22, 2013
                                                                                            • Where are people talking about pay TV brands?
                                                                                              • Figure 31: Mentions, by page type, selected pay TV brands, Sept. 23, 2012-Sept. 22, 2013
                                                                                            • What are people talking about online?
                                                                                              • Figure 32: Mentions, by type of conversation, selected pay TV brands, Sept. 23, 2012-Sept. 22, 2013
                                                                                              • Figure 33: Major areas of discussion surrounding selected pay TV brands, Sept. 23, 2012-Sept. 22, 2013
                                                                                            • Brand analysis
                                                                                              • TWC
                                                                                                • Figure 34: TWC key social media indicators, September 2013
                                                                                              • Comcast XFINITY
                                                                                                • Figure 35: Comcast XFINITY key social media indicators, September 2013
                                                                                              • DIRECTV
                                                                                                • Figure 36: DIRECTV key social media indicators, September 2013
                                                                                              • DISH
                                                                                                • Figure 37: DISH key social media indicators, September 2013
                                                                                              • Verizon FiOS
                                                                                                • Figure 38: Verizon FiOS for key social media indicators, September 2013
                                                                                              • AT&T U-Verse
                                                                                                • Figure 39: AT&T U-Verse key social media indicators, September 2013
                                                                                            • Household Subscription

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Eight in 10 on board
                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Subscribers, cord-not-connectors and cord-cutters, by household income, August 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Subscribers, cord-not-connectors and cord-cutters, by age, August 2013
                                                                                                • One in five planning to subscribe
                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Intent to subscribe, by age, August 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Intent to subscribe, by presence of children in household, August 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Intent to subscribe, by gender, August 2013
                                                                                                • Older and higher-income subscribers settle in for longer
                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Tenure and satisfaction with current service, by age, August 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Tenure with current service, by presence of children in household, August 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Tenure with current service and perception of value in changing service, by household income, August 2013
                                                                                              • Premium Services

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Premium channels
                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Subscription to premium movie channels, by household income, November 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                  • DVR and PPV
                                                                                                    • Figure 49: DVR penetration, PPV access, and PPV usage, by household income, November 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                  • VOD
                                                                                                    • Figure 50: Access to video-on-demand, by household income, November 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Frequency of use of video-on-demand, by household income, November 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Access to video-on-demand, by age, November 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Frequency of use of video-on-demand, by age, November 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                • Changing Providers

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Interest in switching peaks among 25-34s
                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Intent to switch provider, by age, August 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Intent to switch provider, by presence of children in household, August 2013
                                                                                                    • Contract status
                                                                                                      • Figure 56: Contract status, by age, August 2013
                                                                                                    • Savings lead reason for changing service
                                                                                                      • Figure 57: Reasons for wanting to switch provider, by age, August 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 58: Reasons for wanting to switch provider, by household income, August 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 59: Reasons for wanting to switch provider, by lead reason for changing service, August 2013
                                                                                                    • DIRECTV, U-Verse carry momentum in potential acquisitions
                                                                                                      • Figure 60: Pay TV provider, by subscribers considering a change of service, August 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Satisfaction with current provider, by provider, August 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 62: Providers under consideration for switching service, by age, August 2013
                                                                                                    • Lowest price does not always carry provider selection
                                                                                                      • Figure 63: Attitudes to price and brand, by household income, August 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 64: Attitudes to price and brand, by age, August 2013
                                                                                                    • Referrals and rewards
                                                                                                      • Figure 65: Participation in retention services, by age, August 2013
                                                                                                    • Older subscribers more likely to be principle decision maker
                                                                                                      • Figure 66: Principle decision maker for service, by age, August 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Principle decision maker for service, by gender, August 2013
                                                                                                    • Ad selection as a premium service
                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Ad selection as a motivation for changing service, by age, August 2013
                                                                                                  • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Asians skipping out
                                                                                                        • Figure 69: Subscriptions, cord-not-connectors and cord-cutters, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2013
                                                                                                        • Figure 70: DVR ownership and access to pay-per-view, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                        • Figure 71: Access to video-on-demand, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                      • Age drives differences
                                                                                                          • Figure 72: Select attitudes and behaviors related to pay TV, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 73: Reasons for wanting to switch provider, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2013
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Additional Data by Demographic Groups

                                                                                                        • Providers under consideration for switching service
                                                                                                          • Figure 74: Providers under consideration for switching service, by gender, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 75: Providers under consideration for switching service, by household income, August 2013
                                                                                                        • Leading Providers
                                                                                                          • Figure 76: Pay TV provider, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2013
                                                                                                        • Premium channels
                                                                                                          • Figure 77: Subscription to premium movie channels, by age, November 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                        • Interest in switching
                                                                                                          • Figure 78: Intent to switch provider, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 79: Intent to switch provider, by household income, August 2013
                                                                                                        • Attitudes to price and brand
                                                                                                          • Figure 80: Attitudes to price and brand, by gender, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 81: Attitudes to price and brand, by presence of children in household, August 2013
                                                                                                        • Use of TV everywhere and provider apps
                                                                                                          • Figure 82: Use of TV everywhere and provider apps, by presence of children in household, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 83: Use of TV everywhere and provider apps, by household income, August 2013
                                                                                                        • DVR providers and DVR/PPV access
                                                                                                          • Figure 84: DVR service provider, by age, November 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 85: DVR service provider, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 86: DVR service provider, by household income, November 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 87: DVR service provider, by age, November 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 88: Access to pay-per-view and DVR, by age, November 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                        • PPV — types of programming watched
                                                                                                          • Figure 89: Type of pay-per-view programming watched, by household income, November 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                        • VOD — types of programming watched, and watching frequency
                                                                                                          • Figure 90: Type of video-on-demand programming watched, by household income, November 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 91: Type of video-on-demand programming watched, by age, November 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 92: Type of video-on-demand programming watched, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 93: Frequency of use of video-on-demand, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2012-June 2013
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Additional Tables by Current Provider

                                                                                                          • Figure 94: Attitudes to price and brand, by current provider, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 95: Future providers under consideration, by current provider, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 96: Reasons for wanting to switch provider, by current provider, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 97: Use of TV everywhere and provider apps, by current provider, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 98: Select attitudes and behaviors related to pay TV, by current provider, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 99: Intent to switch provider, by current provider, August 2013
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Additional Tables by Custom Cross Analyses

                                                                                                          • Figure 100: Satisfaction with current provider, by principle decision maker and length of tenure, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 101: Attitudes to price and brand, by principle decision maker and length of tenure, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 102: Attitudes and behavior related to pay TV service, by principle decision maker and length of tenure, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 103: Participation in retention servi ces, by principle decision maker and length of tenure, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 104: Providers under consideration for switching pay TV service, by principle decision maker and length of tenure, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 105: Pay TV provider, by principle decision maker and length of tenure, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 106: Reasons for wanting to switch providers, by principle decision maker and length of tenure, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 107: Use of TV everywhere and provider apps, by principle decision maker and length of tenure, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 108: Select attitudes and behaviors related to pay TV, by principle decision maker and length of tenure, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 109: Participation in pay TV retention services, by principle decision maker and length of tenure, August 2013
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Consumer Tables by Generation

                                                                                                          • Figure 110: Attitudes to price and brand, by generations, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 111: Select attitudes and behaviors related to pay TV, by generations, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 112: Reasons for wanting to switch providers, by Millennials vs. non-Millennials, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 113: Reasons for not subscribing, by Millennials vs. non-Millennials, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 114: Use of TV everywhere and provider apps, by generations, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 115: Primary decisionmaker and contract status, by generations, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 116: Participation in retention services, by generations, August 2013
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Social Media

                                                                                                        • Brand usage and awareness
                                                                                                          • Figure 117: Comcast Xfinity usage or awareness, by demographics, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 118: Time warner cable (TWC) usage or awareness, by demographics, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 119: Verizon/Verizon FiOS usage or awareness, by demographics, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 120: DirecTV usage or awareness, by demographics, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 121: DISH usage or awareness, by demographics, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 122: AT&T/AT&T U-verse usage or awareness, by demographics, August 2013
                                                                                                        • Activities done
                                                                                                          • Figure 123: Pay TV related activities done, by provider, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 124: Comcast Xfinity – Activities done, by demographics, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 125: Time warner cable (TWC) – Activities done, by demographics, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 126: DirecTV – Activities done, by demographics, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 127: DISH – Activities done, by demographics, August 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 128: AT&T/AT&T U-verse – Activities done, by demographics, August 2013
                                                                                                        • Online conversations
                                                                                                          • Figure 129: Online mentions, selected pay TV brands, Sept. 23, 2012-Sept. 22, 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 130: Mentions, by page type, selected pay TV brands, Sept. 23, 2012-Sept. 22, 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 131: Mentions, by type of conversation, selected pay TV brands, Sept. 23, 2012-Sept. 22, 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 132: Major areas of discussion surrounding selected pay TV brands, Sept. 23, 2012-Sept. 22, 2013
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                        To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                        Pay TV - US - October 2013

                                                                                                        £3,277.28 (Excl.Tax)