Cord cutting in rural markets may not pose as much of a threat to video operators as it does in urban markets, according to research findings about cord cutting behavior. Jerry Weber, vice president of voice and video products for Innovative Systems, who sponsored the study, discussed these findings at Telecompetitor’s recent broadbandTV event.
Weber highlighted some distinct differences in cord cutting behavior among rural consumers, which may be attributed to fewer entertainment options in rural areas and their inability to receive local off-air broadcast channels from antennas.
“Less than 25% of customers in the rural market are actually even using streaming media today…and that’s not even on a stand-alone basis but with their existing services,” said Weber. “Rural customers are actually using like DVR, time-shifting type viewing, to be able to watch the content when and where they want it about twice what their urban customers are doing.”
Weber also stressed the critical need to offer local off-air channels, particularly for operators who may be exploring OTT video offers.
“If you look at [an] OTT solution or an HLS type offering in a package, you do have to provide the local off-airs,” said Weber. “Eighty-five percent of the customers said they won’t even look at a package if it didn’t have the off-airs.”