Consumers Value Features, Content and Ease of Use Over Price When Selecting TV Services, Microsoft Survey Finds

Posted by bink on May 8 2007, 7:05 PM. Posted in Microsoft TV.

International research study debunks myths about pay TV market.

According to a global research study conducted by Microsoft Corp. and research firm Screen Digest, more than 60 percent of consumers in seven benchmark developed countries would consider switching TV service providers to obtain the features and content they want, at current market prices or higher. This finding contradicts previously held assumptions that price is the single most important factor in selecting TV service providers. The study further points to key trends that define the Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) market and demonstrates that as technology changes the nature of television, old paradigms of behavior may not necessarily apply.

Completed earlier this year, the research identified market segments most inclined to purchase IPTV and drivers that will motivate them. Online and phone surveys of 5,000 “entertainment-oriented” consumers were conducted in seven benchmark developed countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Overall, the survey estimated a total of 230 million potential candidates for more advanced TV services across these countries, with 75 million of those consumers expressing interest in switching and paying for a TV service with the features and channels they want. An additional 2,000 surveys were conducted in urban China and India. When these countries are included, the global audience for advanced TV services increases to 380 million, with 200 million willing to switch and pay for a new TV service.

Consumers were also allowed to create their “ideal” TV service from a number of different features. Consumers created and are willing to pay for lifestyle-based packages, rather than simply price and channels. Those lifestyle packages range from basic TV control and management, to family-oriented packages, to packages that enable communications, commerce and connections between the TV, PC and mobile devices. Over 50 percent of consumers willing to pay for new TV services in developed countries expressed interest in advanced capabilities beyond basic TV control and management.

The study found that the consumer segments most likely to switch TV providers are those that are time-constrained, with 43 percent actually watching less TV than the average household. Although these TV watchers are satisfied with their TV experience, they are looking for ways to maximize the enjoyment of their TV time, prioritizing convenience and ease of use over price. This finding debunks two other generally accepted assumptions — that consumers who view a great deal of television are more likely to demand new services and that the more dissatisfied consumers are with their TV experience, the more likely they are to switch services.

Additional key findings included the following: Continue At Source