Consumers say a la carte important, but not worth cutting the cord

Despite what service providers often maintain, video consumers are not all that excited about channel bundles and think they could do better building their own channel packages, according to the latest iteration of Pricewaterhouse Coopers' Consumer Intelligence Series on video content consumption.

"The majority of conversations, in order of volume were: too many channels to choose from, paying for channels that are never watched or unwanted to begin with, and having to bargain with cable/satellite companies to take advantage of offers," the report noted in its findings.

These same consumers said they longed for the ability to build their own channel packages via a la carte selection and "73 percent of consumers would prefer to customize their package, picking and choosing the channels that suit their individual interests," the report said.

(Source: PwC)

Part of the reason for that is the "expectation that in customizing their own packages they would save money on their service" because "they believe if they are accessing fewer channels or shows that they should be paying less for their subscription."

This penchant for control--"Consumers want what they want, when they want it," the report summarized--does not carry over into cutting the pay TV cord altogether, even though consumers are aware of and use over-the-top video services.

"For 35 percent of respondents, the increased availability of Internet content has little or no effect on the value they place on traditional subscription packages," PwC concluded.

This attitude is probably influenced by findings that indicated subscribers are loyal to TV shows they can now access via their pay TV services. Were those shows to become available on less traditional networks, that paradigm might shift.

"To maintain the value of traditional subscriptions, providers must continue to offer exclusive programming that is either not available online or is only available in a less timely fashion," the reported concluded.

For more:
- PwC issued this report (.pdf)

Related articles:
PwC a la carte study finds few subs interested in paying for premium sports, kids' channels
Nielsen: On-demand becoming the way to watch TV
Analyst: Pay TV providers need to build CDNs to compete with Netflix, Amazon

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