Paywizard: Cord-Cutting Trend Offset by 'Pay-TV Polygamists'

LONDON--Fears among pay-TV providers about the growing trend of cord cutting are being offset by a new phenomenon in which viewers are adding OTT services on top of existing pay-TV subscriptions, even when they spend more overall.

Paywizard, a London-based subscription, billing and customer relationship management (CRM) specialist calls these subscribers, “pay-TV polygamists,” which it details in its report “Show the Love with Customer Experience.” The report adds that the cord-cutting trend can also be curtailed by providing better customer service.

The firm surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers nationwide and found that 21-percent of cord-cutter households now only subscribe to OTT services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu as their sole pay-TV package. But the research finds that twice as many—or 41-percent of households—are a growing force of “pay-TV polygamists” that subscribe to both traditional pay-TV and OTT services. And, 25 percent of those surveyed cancelled a pay-OTT service during the previous 12 months due to a poor customer experience.

[Read: Millions Flee Pay-TV; Revenues Slide, Say Researchers]

“The U.S. is the most advanced TV market in the world with high pay-TV adoption, and the research signals that there is a real opportunity for operators to prevent cord-cutting and win over new subscribers, as the figures also show consumers are willing to spend more overall on pay-TV if the customer relationships are managed effectively,” said Bhavesh Vaghela, Paywizard’s Chief Executive

The research concludes that failing to provide a consistently positive customer experience has real and serious ramifications. In fact, 30 percent of U.S. pay-TV households experienced a negative interaction or issue with at least one of their TV service providers over the previous 12 months, and 42 percent of those cancelled their service. While just 24 percent of U.S. survey respondents felt their issues were handled effectively, the remaining 76 percent felt the interaction damaged their view of the brand.

As the multisubscription customer base grows, “operators need to differentiate themselves to win and retain customers,” Vaghela said, “The key is improved interactions, guided by data-led insight at every stage of the customer journey, so that marketing is more precisely targeted, processes streamlined, recommendations better informed, and each engagement is more personalized.”

Paywizard will be at NAB Show 2018 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, booth SU10306CM. 

Claudia Kienzle