Digitalsmiths Consumer Survey and Trends Report Points to Frustration in Discovering Content Within Pay-TV Services

Digitalsmiths Report Includes Real Feedback Regarding New Video Services and Next Generation Improvements to the Pay-TV Experience


Billy Purser
Director of Marketing
(919) 414-9834

Digitalsmiths, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ: TIVO), a leader in personalized video search and recommendations, today announced the results of its Q4 2013 Video Trends Report, which found that almost one-third (30.9 percent) of consumers surveyed are overwhelmed by the number of channels offered to them and 88.2 percent consistently watch the same channels. Despite the ever growing choice of Pay-TV content, 46% percent of respondents spend 10 minutes or more channel surfing per day, but a resounding 80.3% of consumers still watch only 10 or fewer channels.

“Consumers are increasingly frustrated with the user experience delivered by Pay-TV providers,” said Ben Weinberger, co-founder of Digitalsmiths. “Leading providers strive to address this ongoing issue by creating intuitive, second screen applications that support next generation video discovery solutions. However, with the vast majority of content viewing still happening via the set-top box, until next generation IP based set-top boxes are deployed to the masses, consumer frustration may lead to increased departures to third-party service providers.”

Each quarter, Digitalsmiths’ online survey elicits actual consumer opinions to uncover key trends facing the media/entertainment industry. The survey has become an important way to track consumer trends over time, offering Pay-TV providers real, unbiased feedback regarding consumers’ behaviors, outlook on the industry and expectations for future technologies coming to market.

The Q4 2013 survey results appear to build on a trend Digitalsmiths identified in Q2 2013 dubbed “cord-cheating.” This behavior is represented by 45.3% of respondents who viewed on-demand content from third-party video services and OTT services as an alternative to their Pay-TV provider’s on-demand offerings.

Based on several quarters of data, VOD rentals from Pay-TV providers are appearing to level off, with a consistent 72% to 73% ordering zero movies from their Pay-TV providers. Digitalsmiths believes this is an enormous threat, and one that speaks to the need for consumer-facing improvements.

However, some positive news for cable/satellite providers is that only 19.6% of respondents are unhappy with their current provider. While dissatisfaction issues decreased slightly for the third quarter in a row, the top two reasons remain the same: “increasing fees for cable/satellite service” and “increasing fees for Internet service.” Following in a close third was “bad channel selection.”

The Q4 2013 survey covers a variety of key industry topics regarding Pay-TV services, TV viewing habits, TV everywhere offerings, second screen apps, video discovery features and more. Download this free report by visiting:

Survey Information
Digitalsmiths conducted an online survey of over 3,140 people, all of which were 18 or older in age and reside in the United States or Canada. The survey was conducted from December 18, 2013 to December 23, 2013, and the results were analyzed in Q1 2014.