Research uncovers surprising trends for the future of cord-cutting, SVOD and esports
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, a multidisciplinary, integrated professional services firm, and digital media consulting company, Vorhaus Advisors, today released their inaugural Digital Strategy Study, which analyzes the state of media and content consumption. Through a comprehensive consumer survey focusing on topics including connected TV, subscription video on demand (SVOD), mobile and esports, the report identifies a number of key trends that illustrate how consumers are interacting with technology to consume digital content, including:
- Online video is on the rise, but traditional TV is not dead. Traditional television continues to fall far behind digital devices for consumers between the ages of 18 to 34, with 72 percent in that group using a smartphone to watch online video once a week or more, compared with only 56 percent who used a television set connected to the internet. However, despite a preference for digital devices among 18 to 34 year olds, television is still the top-rated device for the broader population over the age of 18.
- SVOD continues to impress and has room to grow. Of online users, 74 percent subscribe to a service, with nearly six in ten using Netflix. Furthermore, half of all SVOD viewing is consumed on an internet-connected TV, proving that related subscription apps are critical for connected TV’s popularity. Consumers also say they are likely to buy up to another 1.6 SVOD services, beyond what they already have.
- Skinny bundles might be a saving grace for pay TV companies. While cord-cutting is likely to continue at a steady pace, 35 percent of consumers are interested in subscribing to a “skinny bundle” as a streamlined alternative to cable packages. With 47 percent of respondents saying cost is the primary reason for cord-cutting, traditional pay TV companies have found traction with this customized offering.
- Livestreaming remains strong and esports’ future is bright. More than half of online users watch livestreaming video every day on a wide variety of topics. Within that category, esports is quickly gaining market share as the sixth most popular type of content. Forty-six percent of respondents said they watch more esports now than they did six months ago, and 43 percent anticipate spending more time watching esports in the upcoming six months.
“In addition to the surge in online video viewership more generally, the market for esports is massive and an area that our team is deeply involved in as companies assess investment and M&A opportunities,” said Ned Sherman, digital and technology partner and director with Manatt. “We’ve represented some of the major players as well as negotiated team and player agreements for the top esports competitors in the industry, and this research reinforces that the market for this will only continue to grow.”
“SVOD and OTT continue to grow and traditional pay TV remains under pressure from cord-cutting,” said Mike Vorhaus, CEO of Vorhaus Advisors. “Our data suggests that skinny bundle offerings are an effective strategy for winning back traditional pay TV consumers. Furthermore, traditional television consumption remains highly attractive, particularly among the population 35 years and older.”
The study analyzes survey responses from more than 2,000 respondents over the age of 18. The sample was matched to the U.S. Census for age, gender and race, and questions focused on media attitudes and the behaviors of consumers on a broad range of topics. See the full report here.