Live TV is still the most common starting point for viewers, according to a new study from Hub Entertainment Research, but its lead ahead of SVOD is shrinking.
Hub’s annual Decoding the Default survey reports that for 46 percent of consumers, live TV still tops as the first viewing option they turn to, with SVOD at 45 percent (40 percent for the so-called “big five” and 5 percent for other subscription platforms.)
Hub notes that the increasing availability of live content on online platforms is helping to retain its lead for consumers. The survey found that 60 percent of consumers turned to an online source first for content, versus just 32 percent for MVPDs (live, DVR and on-demand). Smart TV apps are increasingly the preferred starting point for viewers ahead of set-top boxes. The research also indicates that live sports and news are critical for MVPDs in retaining viewership and stemming cord-cutting.
“In order for providers to retain customers in the competitive streaming video marketplace, it’s critical to be a first choice for viewing,” said Mark Loughney, senior consultant to Hub. “As viewers are increasingly defaulting to online video sources and relying on apps as a starting point, it’s essential to be among those that are installed on smart TV menus.”