CTAM picks apart pick and pay

A new study from Charlton Strategic Research via the broadcast group shows favourable response among Canadians to pick and pay, but reservations about a la carte costs.
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A new report from the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) shows a rather common-sense reaction from Canadians regarding 2016′s channel unbundling.

The study by Toronto-based Charlton Strategic Research was released at the CTAM Canada Broadcaster Forum Thursday, showing the results of an online survey of 3,155 respondents Canadians.

Over half (57%) of those surveyed plan on sticking with their subscription package or adding channels to it, 33% plan to switch over to a combination of skinny basic and a la carte, while 10% plan to opt for just the $25-a-month skinny basic.

Overall, Canadians expressed frustration with too-expensive rates for TV subscriptions and continued to express interest in cord-cutting, reflected in the reactions to a question on the impact of price rescaling. Eighteen per cent said it was a “very bad idea,” 31% a “bad idea,” 38% “a good idea” and the remainder a “very good idea.”

But the revised subscription options may also bring back some cord-cutters. Some 30% of respondents said they are likely to return to TV subscribing, with 18% looking to create their own combination of channels, 11% planning to opt for the skinny and add to that and 3% looking to only add the skinny basic.

The report also looks at the general consumer TV behaviour, showing that while video consumption is on the increase and most of that content is on paid TV (18.4 out of 28.8 average weekly hours a week), the consumption of streamed or video game non-paid TV time is on the rise, making up 10.4 hours per week in 2015. YouTube is the most popular website used for watching video content in 2015, with Netflix coming in second.

Interestingly, millennials appeared to lead the pack of cable subscribers happy with their current packages. Of those who currently subscribe to cable packages, 48% of those in the demo said they are likely to retain their current package, compared with 43% of overall respondents. Also 17% of millennials who do not currently subscribe say that they are planning to join the ranks of the subscribers when the skinny basic debuts.

The new basic options will begin to be available to consumers in March 2016 with a full rollout expected by December of the year.

With files from Sonya Fatah / Media in Canada

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