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March 21, 2013

TV Everywhere, Multiscreen Live TV Can Drive ARPU and Customer Stickiness

By Tara Seals, TMCnet Contributor

Despite the reputation that Internet video has for being a cheap or free way to view content, that perception is beginning to change in the era of TV Everywhere and more availability of live online streaming options from pay-TV operators. In fact, consumer attitudes toward multiscreen live linear content indicate improving consumer perceptions, increasing consumer value and the potential for driving significant revenue, according to a newly released research report.

According to research from The Diffusion Group (TDG), commissioned by iStreamPlanet, 75 percent of pay-TV subscribers are “highly likely” to use multiscreen live linear services if offered by their operators. What's more, 49 percent also said that if their existing pay-TV operator offered on-demand access but not live access on Internet-connected devices and they could get such a package elsewhere at the same price, then they would definitely switch.

The implication is that live linear TV Everywhere promotes retention and decreases churn, and that offering a live linear TV Everywhere service could help bring back some of the subscribers that operators have lost in the last few years.

"TDG fields numerous research projects each year, testing a variety of new applications and services, but it's unusual to see such a strong, positive consumer reaction as we did in this survey," said Michael Greeson, founding partner and director of consumer research at TDG. "This survey is further evidence that the time is now for content providers to start deploying live linear streaming broadcasts to all devices, or risk losing subscribers who are looking for this level of connected media from their pay TV operator."

The survey also found that multiscreen live linear services could not only generate new revenue from digital advertising, but might also bring content distributors significant additional subscriber revenues. Half of survey respondents said they were likely to sign up for a service priced at $10 per month, and 60 percent were likely to sign up for the service if it were priced at $5 per month.

When asked whether they would sign up for a pay-TV service that included multiscreen live linear access, 30 percent of those without a pay-TV subscription said they were likely or highly likely to do so. Among those who do have a subscription, 49 percent said they would definitely watch live linear content on their Internet-connected devices if the service were offered as part of their regular pay-TV service at no extra charge.

"Multiscreen live video and live linear channels are critical to meeting consumer expectations," said Robin Cole, vice president of Product and Services for iStreamPlanet. "We are seeing this demand firsthand in the evolving business needs of our customers. Our goal at iStreamPlanet is to remove the technological barriers by providing a cost-effective and scalable solution to deliver live TV Everywhere experiences."

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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