New research suggests US consumers are taking to video-on-demand (VOD) services offered by cable operators, though there is still a good degree of confusion.
A survey of 1,400 households in four US consumer markets found that 56% of digital cable subscribers had used VOD, twice the level found 17 months ago.
VOD appears to be aiding subscriber retention: while 15% of digital cable subscribers who have not used VOD report that they are likely to switch from their current cable provider in the next six months, just 9% of digital cable subscribers who have used VOD say that they are likely to switch.
More than 60% of VOD users would strongly recommend on-demand cable TV services to a friend.
However, 46% of digital satellite subscribers, and 20% of cable subscribers, thought satellite television was able to deliver true VOD services.
"The findings in these four markets demonstrate the evolutionary nature of on-demand TV and the progress that is now taking place in this area," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research.
"Use of VOD services is clearly growing, and evidence of the 'stickiness' of the service is beginning to emerge. Yet converting subscribers from [satellite] to cable to get these services may be more difficult, as many [satellite] subscribers feel that they are already getting VOD."
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