Chart - Pay-TV Service Changes

Many pay-TV subscribers complain about the cost of their services, and new data from Digitalsmiths finds that subscribers are generally seeing higher bills compared to a year ago. With cost often fingered as a culprit in cord-cutting behavior, it makes sense that an increasing share of subscribers would have decreased or removed services in the past year – up from 13.4% in Q1 to 16.9% in Q3, per Digitalsmiths’ Q3 study. But look a little further, and a surprising result emerges: just as many (17.2% of) survey respondents said they increased or added services.

There’s plenty of jargon out there dealing with the removal (cord-cutting) or decreasing (cord-shaving or cord-thinning) of services, but far less about increasing services (cord-fattening?). That’s likely a reflection of the recent downturn in pay-TV’s fortunes, with net subscriptions contracting for several quarters now. But even with pay-TV’s shrinking base, it should be noted that a lot more shifting than cutting is occurring, with the dominant trend being subscribers moving from cable to IPTV. In keeping with that, the Digitalsmiths survey finds that more respondents are planning to change cable or satellite providers (6.9%) in the next 6 months than are planning to cut their service (2.9%) or switch to an online application or rental service instead (2%). Read the rest at MarketingCharts.