OTT viewers would pay $2 to $15 per episode for content they want to watch

NEW YORK -- How much would an online video viewer pay for a series – or even an individual episode – that they really want to watch? According to a viewer panel at the OTT Video Executive Summit, the price tag could be anywhere from $2 to $15 per episode.

That depends, of course, on the popularity of such content.

Noting that Game of Thrones is extremely popular among his group of friends, Ian, a millennial-aged member of the "Trender" panel of consumers polled during a morning conference session, said that he would be willing to pay a princely sum to access the series each week. "I'd pay probably $10 to $15 per episode just to get it," he said.

Alicia, another Trender panel member and cord cutter, said she has paid around $2 per episode of Bravo's various Housewives reality series. "The only (series) I would pay for would be the Housewives. I went to and paid around $2 per episode for the ones I couldn't get on YouTube," she said.

Other panel members were more conservative. Andrea, a mother of four who recently transitioned from pay TV to a cord-cutting lifestyle, said she would be willing to pay around $10 to $15 per month "for a show that we like." But that would only happen if the content is not available with another streaming package – and with cost a concern as well as finding content that her children want to watch, she and her husband are much more likely to research available streaming services before deciding to purchase an individual series or episode.

Granted, these are anecdotal observations by individual panelists, but the consumer responses to the question show that they are putting quite a bit of thought into the value they attach to certain types of content.

The panelists revealed some other undercurrents in the way viewers decide which OTT services to buy, such as word-of-mouth recommendations or social media mentions. One key element is that children appear to drive many of the OTT and cord-cutting decisions in a household.

For example, Andrea chose subscriptions and streaming packages that contained content her kids originally watched on cable and wanted to continue watching – modeling her cord-cutting setup as closely as possible to her old cable bundle. "My older daughter wanted to watch The Big Bang Theory," she said, but because the show was not available anywhere else, she subscribed to CBS All Access, for example.

Alicia, who has two children, also chose OTT services based on available kids' programming that they wanted to watch. A native of the Dominican Republic, she wasn't happy with her pay-TV provider's Latin American programming package and found more of the series she was looking for on YouTube and other streaming platforms. "Since then I've found a lot of Hispanic movies and cartoons on YouTube for my kids," she said.

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