Change seems to be the only constant in the TV business these days. Most recently, Multiple Services Operators (MSO’s) are testing college broadband offerings to establish relationships early in adults’ lives in the hope that the relationship will continue post-graduation. This tactic exposes the concern cable TV service providers have over the impending “Nevers” crowd of consumers who have never initiated a customer relationship with a services provider and aren’t likely to do so any time soon. Other recent evidence of market-driven reactionary change among MSO’s is the testing of never-before-seen offerings that appeal to this same “Nevers” segment based on life style and needs: a bundling of premium channels + broadband to establish some connection.
Now comes the latest news of smaller regional service providers dropping TV services altogether and only providing internet + phone packages. This newest development, despite being limited to smaller regional operators, rings loudly as a potential harbinger and a strong signal to programmers that increasing Cable TV fees is expediting consumer migration to streaming video.
The bottom line for Media Companies is that $35 billion in revenue from licensing will continue to erode, and the MSOs will lose revenue as consumers choose to unbundle.
As the TV consumption landscape continues to change, tailoring messaging and products will be increasingly important to drive engagement and conversion.
The good news about trends is that, once noticed, operators can develop new tactics to capitalize on new opportunities. The benefit can come from accelerating a trend or slowing it, and positioning oneself as the best amongst competitors. Tests should be established using customer data scored with predictive models designed to predict these behavioral trends – as they prove out, MSO’s will have more advanced and productive means to anticipating consumer behavior and developing strategies to maintain and grow relationships with customers. As evidenced by the examples mentioned earlier, MSO’s are already indicating new ways of appealing to consumer segments that were created by new technologies the companies themselves brought to market.