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Amdocs Research: Viewers Want Unified Search

BOSTON -- At INTX, Amdocs, the leading provider of customer experience solutions, will showcase its solutions to help cable operators capture the world of digital immediacy in a rapidly changing Pay-TV landscape. The company also announced the results of a consumer survey which found that 79 percent of North American cable and satellite pay-TV customers are considering reducing their spending – underscoring the urgency for operators to devise new strategies to retain their customers.

Amdocs Survey: What do Pay-TV Customers – Especially Millennials – Really Want?

The consumer research, commissioned by Amdocs and conducted by 451 Research Group, revealed that 79 percent of North American (U.S. and Canada) cable and satellite pay-TV consumers are considering reducing their spending, citing rising subscription costs (89 percent), irrelevant channel offerings (84 percent) and dissatisfaction with current levels of customer service (77 percent).

Significantly, millennials – the 18- to 34-year olds who now make up the largest North American demographic segment, eclipsing the baby boom – are even more inclined (84 percent) to cut or reduce their pay-TV spending.

The survey also captured potential consumer interest in "Wi-Fi First" plans that would provide seamless connection across Wi-Fi access points provided by cable operators, including automatic handoff to cellular networks and seamless login for subscribers.

"The big take-away here is that Pay-TV providers need to reinvent themselves to stay relevant: nearly 8 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."

Other key findings:

- "Super aggregator" opportunity exists for cable operators who can manage all video content for their customers: 78 percent of respondents (86 percent 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.

- Strong interest in "Wi-Fi First" plans: Reflecting the growing popularity of Wi-Fi outside the home as well as inside, 59 percent of respondents (62 percent of millennials), would recommend their pay TV provider to friends and family if it provided high-quality, seamless Wi-Fi access outside the home; and 82 percent (millennials: 88 percent) would consider using Wi-Fi as a primary access method.

- "One-shot" (or occasional) subscribers are becoming a factor: Perhaps fueled by the growth of "must-see" programming such as sports events or series like "Game of Thrones" or "Homeland," 40 percent of respondents (48 percent of millennials) reported that they’ve signed up with a pay-TV or OTT service just to watch one specific program or event– then promptly canceled their subscription.

- People want personalized experiences: 55 percent of respondents value the ability to control and personalize their own content and viewing experiences. Forty-nine percent (millennials: 54percent) expect their pay TV provider to use the information they have to provide custom-tailored service offerings and customer support.

"Rapidly changing consumer behaviors – based on digital lifestyles, and largely driven by millennials – are challenging cable and satellite operators’ core business," said Vincent Rousselet, vice president of market insight and strategy at Amdocs. "This survey affirms that to stay relevant, pay-TV providers need to manage the entire customer journey by understanding the customer and their preferences in order to differentiate themselves, cement customer loyalty and capture new growth opportunities. Amdocs can help cable and satellite operators create a unique and personalized digital experience for their customers."

The research, conducted online in February-March 2016, is based on responses from 2,000 consumers across North America, Western Europe, Russia, CALA and APAC. North American respondents accounted for 30 percent of the total sample.

Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX)

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