Surveys show strength of telecom video services with boomers surfing the web more than watching TV

Fiber-optic-based video services offered by telecoms show stronger levels of customer satisfaction than their cable and satellite-based rivals, according to a survey of 2,922 consumers in the U.S. and Canada performed by ChangeWave, a research and advisory firm. Of the 12% of respondents that said they would likely switch providers in the next six months, half said they would base that decision mainly on price.


Cable Leads But Fiber Looks Strong

According to ChangeWave’s latest survey, Cable (65%) still owns the bulk of the TV market, even though it’s been slowly ticking downward for much of the past 2+ years. We note, however, that they have gained 2-pts since our previous survey in March.

At the same time, Satellite providers (25%; down 1-pt) have remained relatively flat, even as the core growth story over the past two years has shifted to the fiber-optic TV service providers (11%). But what does this mean at the individual provider level?

Verizon continues to have the most satisfied customers (47% Very Satisfied), followed by AT&T’s U-verse service (39%) and then DIRECTV (34%).

In conclusion, fiber-optic companies are properly positioned to be the biggest winners in terms of future market share growth.


Boomer TV Preferences and Internet Use

In an earlier survey in May of this year, Change Wave found several important changes in TV viewing and Internet use. In a survey of 1,660 members of the Baby Boom generation  – business professionals between the ages of 45 and 63, completed in early May, focused on TV viewing habits vs. home Internet usage.

The results point to a powerful shift occurring among Boomers away from traditional TV towards new types of online services and entertainment.  Importantly, this transformation is affecting lifelong habits.

-Boomers now spend more free time online (12.9 hrs per week on average) than they do watching traditional TV (11.8 hrs per week on average).

-By a five-to-one margin Boomers are watching less traditional television than they did a year ago. Among this group, 62% say it’s because they’re not as interested in what’s on TV these days, and another 26% say they’re spending more time surfing the web.

-Video-over-the-Internet now clearly represents a significant threat to traditional TV viewing. Better than two-thirds of Boomers (69%) say they’ve watched video content on their computer over the past 90 days. Even more ominously, 48% of respondents say they’d be willing to pay a monthly fee for a Video-over-the-Internet subscription if it provided the same programming currently available on their TV service.

-One place that Boomer professionals are spending more time online is with social networking sites – where 51% say they currently maintain one or more profiles.  Nearly three-in-five (57%) of these Boomers report they use the networking site LinkedIn, while another 55% have a Facebook profile – the site normally thought to be most popular among teenagers.  But Boomer interest in social networking has its limitations – 77% of users say they would not be willing to pay a subscriber fee for social networking. Of all the services, LinkedIn is the most likely to attract paid subscribers – but only 7% say they’d be willing to pay a fee if it was no longer free.


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