Innovation: The Great Unbundling of Pay TV

2014 marked the year TV networks began to decouple from the traditional cable and satellite distribution model. For decades, the large array of channels offered by pay TV operators have been the primary way consumers obtained access to programming. This is changing as the addressable market for pay TV is saturated and consumers now have alternative ways to watch TV shows, movies, and sports. Over the past year a fundamental change occurred as content owners opened access to programming without the need to subscribe to a pay TV channel bundle. In contrast to TV Networks going direct to the consumer, stand-alone streaming providers are working to get embedded into cable and satellite channel listings. For Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, pay TV offers access to a large base of viewers who may be less apt to subscribe to channels outside of their TV provider relationship. As if these fundamental changes are not enough, virtual MVPDs (multi-channel video programming distributors) are surfacing. They are constructing new channel and feature bundles targeted toward online savvy, price conscious, younger consumers – the Millennials. 

This report explores the three pillars driving the unbundling and re-bundling of TV programming. 

  • The arrival of un-authenticated TV Network apps,
  • Bundling of streaming video and pay TV channels, and
  • The inception of virtual MVPDs leveraging broadband delivery

TV Networks, pay TV operators, and device manufacturers working on streaming TV and video distribution strategies can use these insights to identify ways optimize their launch efforts.

Key metrics include:

  • Synopsis of core over-the-top streaming TV launches to date
  • Consumer awareness levels
  • Future subscription interest ratings
  • Ranking of factors important to consumer’s subscription decisions
  • Demographic breakdowns

The report is delivered in PDF, providing quantitative and qualitative analysis examining the drivers behind the various data points.  Panel-based reporting from a sample of more than 2,800 individuals is coupled with insight into the streaming TV marketplace. The sample is based on consumers that make or influence decisions around their household’s TV subscriptions and includes both current and non-pay TV homes.

The Great Unbundling of Pay TV Report was published in March 2015.