With viewership falling and the remaining customers watching a smaller variety of channels, it is clear pay TV content discovery is a significant problem. Luckily, operators have the data they need, and new tools are at hand to fix the problem.
Pay TV’s discovery problem getting worse
According to the new free white paper Turning Pay TV into My TV, one of the most persistent challenges faced by pay TV customers is discovery. Customers have struggled for years to find something to watch by scrolling through long lists of channels in the guide. Despite the widespread adoption of text search and the introduction of voice search and recommendations, the discovery problem is getting worse. According to Nielsen, in 2010, the average pay TV customer tuned to 11.8% of the channels to which they had access. By 2017, the number of channels tuned had fallen to 7.4%, with no apparent increase in channels available.
Part of the problem is that people are not spending as much time with their pay TV service as they used to. Over the last ten years, SVOD penetration has grown to 74%, and people using a Roku to watch connected TV are spending nearly two-and-a-half hours per day streaming.
SVOD better at discovery
However, SVOD expansion is only part of the problem faced by pay TV. SVOD customers are choosing to watch their favorite television shows on services like Netflix, rather than through their pay TV subscriptions. Consider that 7 of the top 10 shows on Netflix in 2019 were TV shows, according to Nielsen. Moreover, many of the same shows can still be found on linear channels and in on-demand systems on pay TV.
The simple truth is that SVOD services do a better job of helping their customers find content than pay TV operators. Recommendations are a vital tool they employ. According to the latest TiVo research, 44% of SVOD customers know their SVOD service provides recommendations versus 24% of pay TV customers.
According to the new free white paper Turning Pay TV into My TV, to restore the value of pay TV to customers, operators need to help them exploit the content better.
Operators have the data they need to fix the problem
The good news for operators is they have the core ingredients necessary to help customers more deeply engage with the content they provide. The guide remains a crucial tool for viewers. 75% of the UK and 66% of Swedish pay TV viewers mostly use the guide to find something to watch.
Also, operators have the user data they need– from connected set-top boxes, TV Everywhere clients, and mobile apps – to provide accurate recommendations and personalized experiences to their customers. What they lack are the tools to process the enormous amounts of data into actional information.
A.I. helps deliver engagement boost
Zone-TV uses A.I. to help it process user data and personalize the content in the linear channels it provides. Jeff Weber, CEO, Zone-TV, says the A.I. personalized channel experience delivers exceptional engagement:
“Customers who Zone-ify (turn on A.I. personalization) are engaged at three times as much usage as those who don’t.”
To learn more about how service operators can improve TV content discovery and engagement using the guide, recommendations, and A.I., you should download the new free white paper: Turning Pay TV into My TV: How Data and A.I. can Boost NPS, Revenue, and Engagement.