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. Continue reading
Not too long ago, the only viable option for watching video in the home was to subscribe to a cable or satellite TV provider. Sure, there was the fringe population who cut the cord and either relied on over-the-air (OTA) network broadcasts or streamed Netflix onto a PC that would then be connected via a mess of cables, software and converters to a television or projector (phew!). The rest of us, however, were at the mercy of the cable and satellite companies, and virtually every satisfaction study conducted shows that customers have not been happy with these providers for a very long time.
Last month, YouTube TV rolled out its “streaming TV” service in five major US cities. Just before that, Comcast and Hulu announced their “streaming TV” services to join an increasingly crowded marketplace with industry heavyweights like AT&T (DirecTV Now), Dish (Sling TV) and Sony (PlayStation Vue). Despite the hype and the big brand names, success isn’t guaranteed for any of these services.
All of these new product offerings are essentially taking the traditional pay TV model that has been around for decades and making it available via the internet at a lower cost than their traditional TV counterparts. For the most part, reactions to these services have been mixed at best, which begs the question: Why aren’t these services knocking it out of the park?
Editor’s Note: This is the first of a three-part series on understanding the streaming video consumer. Be sure to bookmark FreshMR so you don’t miss an issue!
It wasn’t long ago when consumers had three choices for video consumption: free TV (using antennas), paid cable TV, and, if going with cable, whether to add a movie channel like HBO. There was little competition, little innovation and very few choices. What a difference a few years makes!
Those simple days are almost unrecognizable in today’s chaotic, cluttered video world. Sure, consumers can still view local broadcasts over-the-air, but the insatiable appetite for content has dramatically increased our options. Having so many options can be overwhelming to customers but also confusing to the telecommunications and entertainment companies that provide and deliver content.
This summer has seen no shortage of analyst reports of what the soon-to-be-released iPhone 7 will look like and what features it will (and will not) possess. Continuing what has become an annual frenzy of leaks and predictions, rumors are flying about its multiple screen sizes, memory capacity, camera quality, headphone jack and water resistance. Most notably, some speculate that there may not be any dramatic changes at all as Apple waits for 2017 to release a world-changing 10th anniversary iPhone 8.
Market Strategies International decided to put all these rumors to the test to find out which ones really resonate with consumers and which do not. We asked more than 1,100 consumers about their current phones and preferences among the most frequently rumored iPhone 7 features, including:
Who Wants to Buy the iPhone 7?
Several of the findings are quite intriguing and have significant implications for telecom leaders. One thing is for sure: The difference in iPhone 7 needs and wants varies greatly based on customers’ current make and model, wireless carrier and brand loyalty. Understanding who these customers are and what differentiates their interests in upgrading to the iPhone 7 is of paramount importance when developing messaging campaigns, forecasts and product roadmaps. In our report, iPhone 7 Market Landscaper, we explore these differences and provide the data telecom leaders need to optimize their marketing plans. Download iPhone 7 Market Landscaper now or contact Greg Mishkin, vice president of Market Strategies’ Telecommunications division for more information.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a Point-Counterpoint article with my good friend, colleague and sparring partner, Paul Hartley, which focused on fast lanes, free lanes and net neutrality. Interestingly, this topic has become big news again—albeit with a very unexpected twist.
It came to light that Netflix has been downsampling or degrading the quality of the content it delivers to AT&T and Verizon networks (yet not to Sprint or T-Mobile), not because these carriers want Netflix to do so but rather because Netflix feels it is in its own best interest.
On the surface, this may appear counterintuitive. Why would Netflix want to deliver lower quality video to the two largest mobile carriers in the US? Their logic is interesting–Netflix believes that AT&T’s and Verizon’s business model, which allows for overage charges if customers exceed their data caps, will discourage customers from wanting to stream movies for fear that overages will kick in. T-Mobile and Sprint, for the most part, don’t assess overage charges when customers exceed their data allowance—rather they throttle down the network speed to limit how much additional data can be effectively downloaded.
There are valid arguments on both sides of whether it is better to throttle or charge for overages, and this is not what I intend to debate here (although Paul and I may take this up in a future Point-Counterpoint article). Rather, the fact that Netflix is even able to do this because it’s not bound by net neutrality rules raises a very important issue that needs to be acknowledged and addressed.
Most market research firms specialize in syndicated or proprietary (i.e., custom) research. Depending on the firm’s offerings, account reps usually give one-sided justifications why their approach is superior. Market Strategies has custom and syndicated practices so the purpose of this article is to present a more balanced view of the benefits and risks associated with each type of research as they relate to the telecom industry. We pose three key questions that will help you determine which type of research is best suited to your brand’s unique needs, and we explore why custom research may be more advantageous given current industry trends.
Not Everyone Hates Contracts
Editor’s Note: This is the third post of a three-part blog series that examines how changes in the wireless industry have led to commoditization and what carriers must do to truly differentiate. Register for our December 17 Telecom Brand Love webinar now.
The past two years have brought a seismic shift in the US wireless telecom industry. Market Strategies has been writing about how this once highly differentiated marketplace has been transforming into a sea of beige, making it difficult for customers to differentiate between providers. T-Mobile is doing a brilliant job delivering on its brand promise to customers, but other carriers seem to be following suit instead of honoring their own brand promise. By jumping on the no-contract, one-size-fits-all bandwagon, carriers may be missing an opportunity to understand the generational and lifetime value differences of their own customers.
Editor’s Note: This is the second post of a three-part blog series that examines how changes in the wireless industry have led to commoditization and what carriers must do to truly differentiate. Register for our December 17 Telecom Brand Love webinar now.
Living in a more rural suburb in Atlanta, I am used to not having the most cutting edge technologies available at my home. This is why I was incredibly excited to learn yesterday that AT&T was finally offering U-verse to my address—and, even better, it isn’t just standard U-verse but U-verse with GigaPower for Internet speeds up to 1Gbps! GigaPower is 40 times as fast as what I currently have with Xfinity, and the promotional pricing for GigaPower is actually $7 cheaper than what I currently pay.
Seems like a no brainer to fire Xfinity and sign up with AT&T, right? It’s not that easy.
Editor’s Note: This is the first post of a three-part blog series that examines how changes in the wireless industry have led to commoditization and what carriers must do to truly differentiate. Register for our December 17 Telecom Brand Love webinar now.
The best reason to remain a loyal customer is because you’re receiving exemplary service and support. However, looking at the American Customer Satisfaction Index, it is evident that wireless carriers are not overwhelmingly satisfying their customers. In fact, the wireless telecom industry scored lower for overall satisfaction than every other industry except for other telecom specialties (including ISPs, Pay TV and wireline phone) and the government. Despite these low ratings, the wireless industry continues to have extremely low churn rates. So, if customers aren’t satisfied, then what is driving low churn rates?