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Recent research with rural consumers highlights interesting video and internet trends for rural America. The study, sponsored by Innovative Systems, reveals that rural consumers served by independent telcos are more technology‐driven than last year and eager to adopt advanced services.

The research, obtained through a phone survey of approximately 400 rural North American homes, found that subscription video has remained stable over the past year with 82% of homes still subscribing to a service provider. Although the overall subscription rate remained the same at 82%, the number of homes that have cut the video cord increased from 1% to 4% in 2017. This was offset by a 3% increase in homes adding television service and followed a previous decade‐long decline from a height of 92% in 2006 to a low of 82% in 2016.

Cloud DVR Interest Gaining Steam
When asked if they had the option of replacing their home DVR with a cloud-based system, 16% of customers surveyed indicated that they would make the move if their service provider had the cDVR option. This is particularly good news for companies that wish to supplant their aging home DVRs with cloud storage that can be accessed by less expensive, non-DVR Set Top Boxes.

Source: 2017 North American Rural Video and Broadband Survey, Cronin Communications

2017 Survey Highlights

  • Local channels remain critically important with 87% of customers absolutely demanding them – up 2% from last year.
  • Internet spending – up almost 20% over last year as customers increase their speeds
  • Managed Home Wi-Fi – 15% of residential Internet users have now already purchased a managed service
  • Independent Telco’s gained 8% of the video market‐share. The satellite providers lost a combined 11%
  • Customer satisfaction dipped sharply by 9%, going from 69% down to 60%. Price and quality of service were the top reasons for their dissatisfaction.
  • Sixty-seven percent (67%) of video subscribers contacted their provider within the past year – 28% of them to reduce their bills
  • Sixteen percent (16%) of video subscribers would move to a cloud‐based DVR service if it were available to them.
  • Off-air channels are scarce in these markets: 51% of homes can only get 1‐5 channels, and 28% of homes can only get up to 10 channels.

Service providers and consultants are eligible for a free copy of the fifty-page survey, please email your request to scottm@innovsys.com.

Image courtesy of flickr user D.Reichardt.