A new market research report tells live TV streaming services to give up “the old rules of television”. But there may be less to the click-bait headline than meets the eye.
Here are the top-level numbers that Market Strategies International published in its press release (the full report costs $9,500):
- 73% of respondents to the survey use streaming services of all types
- 29% of the streamers have canceled or reduced their cable subscriptions
- 11% of the streamers watch live TV through a streaming service
Based on those numbers, Market Strategies claims, the streaming TV industry is doing it wrong:
“TV providers are failing to recognize that the habits and needs of the viewer have dramatically changed, and the old rules of television no longer apply,” the press release quotes Marketing Strategies executive Greg Mishkin. “None of the current providers has cracked the code on what consumers want.”
Are Streaming Services Doing it Wrong?
The thing is, these numbers need to be taken with a dose of salt. The press release’s own footnote admits an opt-in internet survey “does not yield a random probability sample of the target population” and so it is not possible “to statistically quantify the accuracy of projections”. Ask a different set of people and you may get different results. Are the numbers true for the American population as a whole? The survey can’t say that.
The second issue here is that live TV streaming is still in its infancy. Licensing issues have made it hard for services like Sling TV and DirecTV Now to offer live streams of local TV stations. We outlined at the impact of this in our own look at What’s the Best Service for Streaming Live Local TV?
People want to watch live TV. The value these live TV services offer over cable will continue to increase as they work better with networks and station owners.
Chris Casper is a former tech industry product manager who escaped from California for New Mexico. Now he writes about science and tech while searching for the perfect green chile sauce.