Advanced search makes customers more likely to stick with incumbent pay-TV service, Digitalsmiths says

Nearly half of survey respondents who said they're likely to make a change to their existing pay-TV service in the coming six months said they'd stick with their incumbent video operator if that company somehow made it easier for them to find something they'd like to watch.

The data comes courtesy of TiVo-owned research arm Digitalsmiths, whose third-quarter Video Trends Report delivers some interesting insight into consumer behavior as it relates to cord-cutting.

Digitalsmiths found that 46.5 percent of U.S survey respondents indicated they're likely to make a change in their video service over the next six months — this includes everything from changing service providers to ditching the pay-TV ecosystem altogether.

Interestingly, the survey found that 48.2 percent of those respondents would likely stick to their incumbent service if that operator offered advanced search capabilities that enabled viewers to more easily find programming they want to see. 

This data comes as larger pay-TV operators like Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) make major investments in search and user-recommendation capabilities in their video technology. 

Digitalsmiths also found that of the respondents that don't currently subscribe to a pay-TV service, 19.3 percent had cut the cord over the last 12 months. Among cord-cutters, 45.1 percent say they use a digital antenna, an 11.8 percent quarter-to-quarter increase. 

Nearly 24 percent of pay-TV customers pay more than $150 per month for service, compared to only 21.1 percent in the third quarter of 2013. The research company said that pay-TV customers, on average, would prefer bundles of around 17 channels and would only like to pay $40.50 a month for video services. 

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