Whether OTT or VOD Wins in the Long Run, They Can Coexist for the Time Being

Despite the fact that the demand for over-the-top (OTT) content continues to increase, a recent study says that video-on-demand (VOD) offerings from traditional subscription television providers are in no danger of becoming extinct—at least not anytime soon.

According to recent research, 56 percent of consumers who responded to a survey conducted by GfK Media said that in addition to their subscription television services, they utilized the providers’ VOD or TV Everywhere-type offerings. Additionally, 41 percent of respondents said they paid for content put out by OTT providers.

What could spell bad news for traditional television providers, however, is the fact that 44 percent of respondents said that they preferred streaming content while 27 percent indicated they like VOD better and 29 percent said the two are the same. But by a score of 43 percent to 30 percent, those customers who prefer VOD also turn on the service more frequently—at least once a week—than their streaming counterparts.

“Pay-TV providers are getting sampling for their VOD services, but they need to gain repeat users to start winning the perception battle,” explains David Tice of GfK. “Consumers are open to considering alternatives to Netflix. But a lack of education and of effective marketing are letting these key pay-TV assets languish in the shadows.”

Interestingly, those who utilize VOD often say the services have a much more diverse offering in terms of choice compared to OTT content, with 67 percent affirming that sentiment compared to 28 percent supporting streaming services.

Pay-TV providers are turning toward TV Everywhere offerings to help reduce customer churn rates, as some customers grow tired of such services and are opting to support OTT providers. It is still unclear whether a matter of preference or the advancement of technology will have a say one way or the other but, in the meantime, there’s room for both OTT and pay-TV providers to comfortably coexist.