Research: consumer over-the-top subscriptions have nearly doubled in 2016

By Adam Flomenbaum | Co-Executive Editor

December 8, 2016 | 4 min read

Paywizard, a subscriber management company, today released its second annual TV report and found that consumers with over-the-top (OTT) subscriptions has risen from 25 per cent to 45 per cent over the past year.



30 per cent of the 6,242 consumers surveyed, said that they intend to subscribe to pay OTT services leading up to Christmas, with 18 per cent planning to subscribe for the first time. Still, a whopping 50 per cent of those first time subscribers plan to cancel their subscriptions within the first six months.

The study was carried out by Research Now and included respondents from top TV countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, Australia and Singapore.

“There are definitely huge opportunities for OTT players to build on the momentum paid video-on-demand services are showing across all markets,” said Bhavesh Vaghela, Chief Marketing Officer, Paywizard. “Nonetheless, while OTT operators are poised for another huge lift this Christmas, it is clear that subscribers view these services as an activity they can dip in and out of. Keeping customers loyal is the major challenge facing providers. As OTT adoption nears the 60 per cent range, operators need to address every point of the customer journey and work harder to keep new and old subscribers alike.”

Other key findings from the report include:

• Pay-OTT adoption by millennials remains strongest with 52 per cent of all survey respondents under age 35 now having a subscription.

• Nonetheless, other key demographics are catching up, as 47 per cent of 35-44-year-olds now have a pay-OTT service, compared to just 27 per cent last year, while 45-54s with subscriptions have risen to 42 per cent from 25 per cent.

• Younger audiences are more likely to sign up to OTT, with under-35s now nearly three times as likely to subscribe before Christmas as the 55-plus age group.

• Top of the list of factors that would make an OTT subscriber terminate service is “too expensive” with 63 per cent of those that already have a subscription listing it among the top three reasons they would cancel.

• While “not much too watch” was the next most popular answer (42 per cent), “bad customer experience” (35 per cent) was nearly as prevalent a reason and nearly as many list “provider does not seem to care about what I want and so doesn’t cater to my needs” (30 per cent).

• The survey shows more consumers intend to do their holiday television viewing on smart TV sets (85 per cent in 2016 versus 80 per cent last year), while slightly fewer plan to watch on mobile devices, which include smartphones, tablets and laptops (46 per cent versus 42 per cent in 2015) – which tracks with industry figures showing stronger sales of smart TVs with built-in OTT compatibility.


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