Light Reading

Downloads Keep Highest-Value Customers Consuming

Laurie Lawrence

It turns out TV is hot again. And people who love watching it really love watching it.

Vubiquity recently surveyed 1,600 consumers who own and/or use smartphones and tablets and found out that there is a significant group of people out there who watch a lot of video on a lot of devices, and are willing to pay for multiple subscriptions.

Nearly half of all people surveyed (48%) were interested in downloading content to which they already subscribe to a device, and 63% of those were willing to pay between $1-5 extra per month to do it.

So who are these "downloaders," and why should service providers focus on feeding their need for content-on-the-go as part of their business strategy?

For one thing, downloaders watch more content across all platforms than typical users: 60% watch video on their smartphone at least weekly (compared to 43% of the total sample); 66% watch on their tablet (vs. 51%); 84 percent on their computer (vs. 60%), and 91% on their TV (vs. 83% ). They also are more likely to subscribe to premium channels such as HBO and Showtime, and to subscription streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Instant Video in addition to paying for a traditional MVPD (multichannel video programming distributor) service.

So what's the opportunity?

For traditional pay-TV providers, the ability to offer a compelling subscription video-on-demand service -- with download-to-play rights -- positions them to retain, attract, re-engage, and up-sell the high-value subscribers who willingly pay for the ability to watch more video. And because they offer Internet access as well, they are able to bundle video streaming and downloading services with faster speeds for subscribers to higher-tier services. As the current debate around net neutrality grows, this will be an issue worth watching.

For all the concerns about cord-cutters, at least half of viewers are adding to their traditional pay-TV subscription, rather than replacing it. As the younger demographics continue to move from device to device with relative ease and don't necessarily want to be tethered to the Internet to view their content, those service providers who can provide a seamless TV experience (whether the viewer is at home, in the air, or somewhere else) will continue to engage with the most voracious video consumers -- those who are willing to pay for more access to more titles.

In a hyper-competitive industry, doesn't it make sense to focus efforts on those customers who provide the clearest path to revenue growth? Forward-thinking providers will make the ability for subscribers to "download to play" a key component of their strategy over the coming year.

— Laurie Lawrence, CMO, Vubiquity

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/8/2014 | 3:42:18 PM
Re: Money matters
But aren't "the kids" the ones opting out of conventional video services?
User Rank: Lightning
4/8/2014 | 3:36:38 PM
Re: Money matters
The data surprised us as well.  For most viewers, the TV is still the dominant platform for watching video, but younger viewers are changing that through their comfort with viewing on any device.  To take that trend a step further, we're talking about leveraging content rights for which viewers have already paid, and and allowing them to access the content even without an internet connection.  That is a very competitive -- and compelling -- feature compared to the standard OTT offering.  We believe this represents an opportunity for more traditional TV providers to continue to add value.

User Rank: Blogger
4/7/2014 | 6:29:57 PM
Re: Money matters
Yeah, I just don't see it happening, especially with younger users, who are apparently more likely to pay for it. Sure they want and expect content on any screen, but they are also quite adept at finding ways around paying for it. It'd have to have some value-add on top of the same content to get many to pay for it, IMO.
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/7/2014 | 1:05:28 PM
Re: Money matters
I am surprised that people would want to add to already ridiculous cable expenses. Of course, you've got to have broadband.

But adding cable TV to that costs a fortune in comparison to Netflix for a few bucks a month or Amazon Prime which has instant video tied to other services.

I just think that cable operators offer too many channels with relatively nothing on. 
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/7/2014 | 10:37:18 AM
Re: Money matters
Yes, money does matter. I think eventually there will be a shakeout of content that makes sense to deliver over all devices, and the content that makes sense to deliver only to select devices.

You saw a version of that the last couple of weeks with the NCAA basketball tournament. It used to be CBS would carry all of the games once the field was whittled down. But last games this year shifted to TNT and TrueTV. CBS apparently felt ratings were better with it's traditional Saturday night fare.
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/7/2014 | 10:05:56 AM
Money matters
At some point -- and I'm sure you've thought about this -- the cost of delivering content to all these different devices using different means of connectivity has to factor into whether it makes sense to chase users with content. If the cost of multidimensional product delivery is a lower profit margin, then this makes less sense from the service provider side, sophistication of the end-user notwithstanding.
More Blogs from Column
Adding virtualized local content delivery capabilities to broadband networks would bring content closer to consumers and boost OTT quality.
As OTT video traffic soars, CSPs can use new probing tools to measure and improve their data customers' quality of experience more effectively.
The edge router's days are numbered, argues Scott Sumner.
Don't panic – the platform isn't burning but is evolving quickly through open source, writes OPNFV director Heather Kirksey.
Cisco has once again set the bar and challenged the New IP networking sector by opening its doors and welcoming independent testing, something more vendors should be doing.
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Wagner’s Ring
The Business Case for Open Source

11|30|15   |     |   (0) comments

Open source helps companies enhance infrastructure, undermine competitors' advantage and teach collaboration. But there are problems.
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Hong Kong Moments
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/26/2015
Cable Gives Thanks for Business Services
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 11/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.