Frustrated Viewers are ‘Show-Dumping’

Television viewing is becoming too expense and a hassle for many, causing them to bail on programs they might otherwise watch.


TiVo’s latest online global survey of 5,500 pay TV and over-the-top (OTT) subscribers refers to it as “show-dumping,” described as the act of viewers “giving up on shows they love because it became too difficult and/or costly to access them.” The survey said that 37 percent of respondents have done just that.

“Ensuring predictable ongoing engagement of audiences, once the hallmark of a successful television series, may be becoming much more challenging,” the company reported.

According to the survey, 58 percent have more than one paid subscription streaming video service and 45 percent own more than one streaming media device. The plethora of viewing options causes consumers globally to spend an extra 19 minutes a day searching for content. And 40 percent “disengage all together” from their services and devices “when they can’t find something to watch.”

Effective search and recommendation interfaces are key to viewer engagement. TiVo said those “most satisfied with their search function watch almost sevev hours of content per day, 21 percent more than the U.S. reported average of 5.6 hours. Likewise, those most happy “with their recommendation function watch 7.5 hours of content per day, a massive 34 percent more than the US reported average of 5.6 hours.”

“Unified discovery and seamless access to content removes some of these barriers for the consumer, improving engagement and resulting in real business benefits including higher content consumption, increased subscriber retention and improved service value, especially for the millennial generation,” said Paul Stathacopoulos, vice president of strategy and strategic research, TiVo.

The survey also revealed that ‘cord shaving,’ which refers to subscribers downgrading their cable, telco or satellite pay TV packages and adding streaming subscription services and devices, is more popular than “cord cutting,” which involves consumers getting rid of pay TV altogether. Among global respondents, 11 percent said “they are extremely likely to downgrade their service instead of canceling” in the next six months, with 8 percent said “they are extremely likely” to cut the cord altogether.

For more on the survey, visit TiVo.

About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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