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Cord cutters, shavers, and stackers

Cord Shavers and Stackers Top Satisfaction Survey

September 16th, 2016   ||    by Monta Monaco Hernon

Sixty percent of streaming video customers maintain their pay TV subscriptions, while 23 percent still subscribe but have downgraded their service packages, according to J.D. Power’s “2016 Streaming Video Satisfaction” study. Interestingly, overall satisfaction with streaming video is highest among these “cord stackers” and “cord shavers,” and lowest among those who have abandoned their pay TV services all together. “Cord cutters”—those who gave up their cable subscriptions in favor of online services, only—represent only 13 percent of the streaming population, while “cord nevers,” who never subscribed to pay TV, make up only 4 percent.

Blurred Lines

This is good news for the cable industry. The results of the survey indicate that while over-the-top (OTT) providers are offering consumers a viewing alternative, streaming is not an “either-or proposition.” In other words, pay TV isn’t going away, it’s evolving, as noted by Tech Crunch. Companies traditionally thought of as “corded,” like HBO, Comcast, and NBC have TV Everywhere offerings, for example, and Dish’s SlingTV offers unbundled channels for a fee. Facebook and Twitter are also working to license TV content.

With the lines blurring, companies are also becoming more open minded about programmatic ad buying. All of this bodes well for advertisers on many levels, including scope and reach. AT&T, which recently announced a programmatic offering, acquired DirecTV, which means a combined 26 million households primed for linear advertising delivered programmatically.

Programmatic Possibilities

J.D. Power’s findings about cord stackers and cord shavers demonstrate the opportunity for advertisers to reach potential customers across screens. Programmatic technology offers the vehicle to unify campaigns in a multiplatform strategy. By pooling together and analyzing data gathered from varied sources, programmatic allows buyers to target their audiences and follow them with comprehensive messages as they view content on different devices.

Programmatic also automates a good portion of the workflow, eliminating the numerous emails, phone calls, and other back and forth typically associated with the ad buying process. Speeding up the process means buyers can respond quickly where their prime buyers are watching and present them with more personally directed, timely ad content.

Target the Future

The J.D. Power survey also confirmed that the streaming strata is segmented by demographics. Of those who only stream, 37 percent are in the eighteen- to thirty-four-year-old bracket, and 52 percent of those who have never subscribed to pay TV are eighteen to thirty-four years old.

Millennials, who consume great quantities of content and are thus inundated with advertising, are particularly partial to ads specific to them. In a NewsCred survey, 54 percent responded well to content tailored to age, 55 percent to location-based content, and 63 percent to content related to cultural interests. The data-driven nature of programmatic opens up the possibility of providing the targeted messages millennials desire on whatever device they’re viewing content.

Overall, those who’ve rid themselves of pay TV service altogether are the most dissatisfied of all. Streaming may be changing the content-viewing landscape, but it looks like Pay TV is here to stay.

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