With 73% of the population regularly streaming video, consumers are racing to get streaming-capable devices for the holiday season. Not only has it been reported that Amazon accounted for half of all online Black Friday sales, its own Fire TV stick was the second most popular item sold on its site. Likewise, one of the hottest items this season at big-box stores such as Best Buy, Walmart and Target are smart TVs. There is little doubt that today’s consumer has become comfortable with streaming video and is looking for more ways to stream content.
Telecom and content providers in the technology industry have seen this uptick in demand and responded with a plethora of new streaming video services to capture these customers and, in many cases, counteract the subscriber losses from a sharp increase in cord-cutting. Over the past year, we have seen dozens of these services emerge—many from well-known brands such as DirecTV, YouTube, Hulu and Xfinity—and almost all of them have a common core feature: the ability to stream live TV stations without a traditional cable subscription.
Despite extensive advertising, these new services are not attracting new customers as many had predicted. And, the majority of those who are intrigued enough to trial these services fail to convert to a paid subscription, as they are often left underwhelmed and wanting for something better.
How can this be? There is a clear increase in supply to meet the surging consumer demand. Consumers are acquiring streaming-capable devices in record numbers (not to mention that nearly everyone owns a streaming-capable smartphone). So, why are customers not opening their wallets and signing up in droves?
Market Strategies’ StreamOn™ research investigated how and why consumers are using streaming video and have discovered two primary issues that are keeping customers away:
- The first issue is market saturation and message clutter. Overall, awareness of these new services is poor. Significant heavy-up of advertising is needed to break through this clutter. YouTube TV seems to be aware of this issue, as it has pulled out all of the stops—first, in being a primary sponsor of the World Series, and then with a continued push of high-profile ad exposures with very easy-to-understand messaging. The competition is going to have to step it up if it hopes to open the top of the funnel. Other live streaming services are also attempting to push up awareness to follow suit, including Hulu Live TV, with Anna Kendrick pitching its service.
- But even more importantly, through our customer experience research, we have found that customers are not terribly interested in streaming live TV. Aside from sports and news, video customers have long ago changed their viewing habits from live to time-shifted viewing. Yet, virtually all new streaming services present live TV streaming as the primary benefit of their services. Consumers are much more interested in access to exclusive content and ease of navigation than they are live TV streaming. So, when video providers heed our advice to increase awareness, they need to be sure that they are touting benefits that their target customers really care about.
To succeed, streaming video providers are going to have to revisit both their product design and development research and their advertising reasons to buy. Doing so needs to start with thorough segmentation research in order to understand of who the streaming video consumer is, what she wants (and doesn’t want) and how much she is willing to pay for it. StreamOn answers all of these questions and more. Download a preview of the final report by clicking here. The answers you are looking for are only a click away!