Broadband-only interest growing in Netherlands

Tuesday 3 January 2017 | 15:09 CET | Background

Around four in ten Dutch consumers are interested in a broadband-only subscription and 11 percent say they are very interested, according to a survey by the Telecompaper Consumer Panel. 

Interest is increasing compared to the same survey in previous years. In 2015, 65 percent said they weren't interested and in 2014 almost 70 percent. This suggests the urge to 'cut the cord' on pay-TV subscriptions, or even among young people to never take a TV plan, is increasing. Furthermore, while almost all Dutch households have TV subscriptions, fewer are taking an extra subscription for a second TV. Instead, they are using apps to watch TV online over tablets, laptops and other devices. 

Around 9 percent of Ziggo customers are very interested in a broadband-only subscription. Nevertheless, the cable operator doesn't offer standalone internet; all packages must include TV. Ziggo has also invested significantly in its TV offering in the past year, launching its own sports channel and buying the rights to HBO content. This suggests it's unlikely to start offering broadband-only soon. 

The same percentage of Telfort customers was very interested in broadband-only, as were 8 percent of KPN customers. This percentage at KPN was down from around 17 percent a year ago. At that time, KPN had just launched its online TV service Play, which offers all the main channels over an app. 

Looking at the different household make-ups, single people show the most interest in broadband-only subscriptions. Fifteen percent of singles said they were very interested, compared to 10 percent of couples with or without children. 

Interest in broadband-only plans is also higher among consumers under 50. Among the four youngest age groups in the survey (12-19, 20-29, 30-39 and 40-49), around 55 percent in each group said they had no interest. Among 50-64 year-olds, this rose to 63 percent, and among 65-80 year-olds, to 70 percent. 

Most of the fixed operators have long realised that they can hold back the rise of OTT services. The big players like KPN and Ziggo have added Netflix to their own TV boxes to give customers easy access alongside their standard TV subscription. However, the growing number of online video providers, with Amazon and Wuaki also reaching the Dutch market, is expected to support more interest in going broadband only. The internet providers will need to take notice and develop the appropriate offers. 

This research is based on the Telecompaper Consumer Panel. The survey was conducted in August 2016. Panel participants are aged 12-80, and results are stratified according to age, gender and education. For more information about research opportunities with the panel, please contact research@telecompaper.com.  

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