mobile videoPrice is becoming less and content availability more of a factor in viewers’ decisions to cut the cord on their pay-TV services and switch to OTT alternatives, according to new market research about OTT video demographics from Limelight Networks.

Seven in 10 consumers now subscribe to at least one OTT streaming video service, according to the first edition of Limelight Network’s semi-annual State of Online Video research report.

Rising prices were cited by 29 percent of survey respondents as the primary reason they would cut the cord on their pay-TV services. That’s down more than 8 percent since May 2015. Two in 10 said the ability to subscribe to the channels they want online would be a key factor, up 4 percent.

OTT Video Demographics
Video streaming quality is another important influence in viewers’ decisions to switch from pay-TV to OTT video streaming services, Limelight highlights in a press release about the OTT video demographics research.

All that said, the number of respondents who said they would never cut the cord rose from 10 to 15 percent. That reinforces the conclusion that price is playing less and content availability more of a role in the decision-making process, according to Limelight.

Content availability is especially important to Millennials ages 18-35, who in general are as sensitive to price as the entire population. Millennials are 7 percent more likely to switch to OTT viewing and cancel their pay-TV subscriptions when they can subscribe to channels directly, Limelight found.

Furthermore, 8 in 10 Millennials subscribe to at least one OTT video service as compared to 69 percent for the entire population, which increased 10 percent since May 2015. Four in 10 (39 percent) said they watch at least seven hours of online video per week.

Turning to device usage, Limelight found that computers and laptops remained the most commonly used online video viewing devices. In contrast, smartphones are the most common devices used by Millennials, and smartphone online video viewing is gaining ground across the broader population.

Other key highlights include:

  • Video quality is becoming increasingly important. Consumers continue to report buffering to be the most frustrating part of watching online video, but poor video quality is starting to close the gap.
  • YouTube’s decline may signal an interest in higher quality online content. TV shows and movies remain the most watched type of online video, with original content/YouTube demonstrating a steady decline since the last study. Millennials in particular are watching less YouTube in favor of OTT services.
  • Advertising in online video is becoming more accepted. Respondents are increasingly fine with online video ads – particularly if it allows them to access content for free. Interestingly, Millennials are the most accepting of advertisements.
  • Millennials are the video sharing generation. Across all social media channels, Millennials share dramatically more video than their generational counterparts with Facebook continuing as the channel of choice for all generations.

“Our research continues to show increasing adoption of OTT content, especially among younger consumers,” Limelight Networks’ VP of global marketing Nigel Burmeister was quoted as saying.

“Consumers are demanding access to content when they want it, using the device of their choosing. Traditional providers and delivery models are increasingly at risk of being left behind as consumers become more savvy.”

Image courtesy of flickr user Kirill Kniazev.

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