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Broadband

Little interest in switch to 'skinny' TV plans

Thursday 15 October 2015 | 16:49 CET | Background

Recent research by Telecompaper found that 8 percent of Dutch consumers expect to cancel their TV subscription in the next two years in favour of watching online TV. A majority does not expect to do so, for a variety of reasons. However, between the two there is an alternative, a more limited, 'skinny' TV subscription. Among those consumers who say they don't expect to cancel their TV subscription, 5 percent said they would be interested in a cheaper TV package with fewer channels (only the main Dutch public and commercial channels and the Discovery channels). They are interested in switching to such a plan within the next two years.

Recent research by Telecompaper found that 8 percent of Dutch consumers expect to cancel their TV subscription in the next two years in favour of watching online TV. A majority does not expect to do so, for a variety of reasons. However, between the two there is an alternative, a more limited, 'skinny' TV subscription.

Among those consumers who say they don't expect to cancel their TV subscription, 5 percent said they would be interested in a cheaper TV package with fewer channels (only the main Dutch public and commercial channels and the Discovery channels). They are interested in switching to such a plan within the next two years.

Another 4 percent are interested in switching to this type of plan, but not in the next two years, while 20 percent are not interested at all in a small TV package. Among the latter, some want to be able to watch more Dutch channels, and 15 percent said they would not move to a smaller, cheaper package as they want to keep foreign channels.

A third said they don't know if a slimmed-down TV subscription in combination with online TV content is enough to cancel their current TV subscription. A tenth said they already have a relatively small package (maximum 30 channels), so there is no need to seek an even smaller plan.

Cord shaving

A survey by the Telecompaper Consumer Panel in August found that 47 percent of the Dutch are not interested in 'cutting the cord' on their current TV subscription as they want to keep access to live channels. As a halfway point between 'cord cutting' and keeping a full TV subscription, some operators have been introducing 'skinny' bundles. KPN is testing the service Play, and Tele2 introduced TV light. These packages include only the most popular channels for a relatively cheap price.

The amount saved by consumers can be spent on acquiring OTT services. This so-called 'cord shaving' is still at a very early stage in the Netherlands, but appears to be catching on quickly in the US, where TV subscriptions are much more expensive to start.

30s age group more interested in skinny plan

There are clear differences between age groups when it comes to considering a smaller TV package. The 30-39 year-olds who said they did not want to give up their current TV subscription were more willing to consider a skinny plan within the next two years, at 8 percent versus 5 percent across the market. 

 

The opposite was true for the 40-49 age group. None of this group expected to switch to a small TV package in the next year, and only 3 percent consider it likely in the next two years. 

If we extend the period beyond two years, then in total 8 percent of those not interested in cutting the cord would consider a skinny plan. The percentage increases among 20-29 and 30-39 year-olds, to respectively 12 and 14 percent.

Young people less interested in foreign channels

Younger people show less interest in keeping live foreign channels. While in the broader group 15 percent gave this as a reason not to take a smaller plan, only 7 percent of teenagers see foreign channels as important. The figure is 9 percent among 20-29 year-olds and rises to 21 percent among those over 65.

Young people were also more likely to say other people in their household want to keep the current TV subscription. Overall, 9 percent gave this response, rising to 13 percent among teens and 11 percent among 20-29 year-olds. This is likely due to more young people living with their parents or having limited say over the TV service.

Limited differences between men and women

The differences between the preferences of men and women were small. They increase somewhat when looking at a period longer than two years: 10 percent of men said they would then consider a skinny bundle, compared to only 5 percent of women.

Men were also more likely to say they want to keep foreign channels. Overall 15 percent of people gave this response, compared to 17 percent of men and 13 percent of women.

More information about the Dutch TV and video market is available in the Telecompaper report ‘Video Behaviour of Dutch Consumers’.

This research is based on the Telecompaper Consumer Panel. The survey was conducted in August 2015 (n=1,480). 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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