Set Your Sights On Pay TV Light  

Meet your customer, Joe: If there’s one thing that Joe can’t stand, it’s paying for things he won’t use. So Joe hates the idea of buying a full Pay TV package, knowing full and well that he only typically watches the Mets, SportsCenter, local news and football on Sundays.

Say what you will about Joe’s television viewing habits, but he likes what he likes. And similarly to many of your customers, he’s on a super-tight budget and doesn’t want to overpay for channels that he will never watch—like home gardening, or cartoons.

Up until recently, the attitude in the U.S. Pay TV industry has been to force-feed extra television channels to Joe. But now, that practice is changing. A growing number of Pay TV operators are rolling out flexible, more customizable television subscription services in lieu of larger, rigid packages. This trend is called Pay TV Lite, and it’s quickly gaining traction across providers in the U.S. media market.

In fact, it’s the biggest opportunity for Pay TV providers since TV Everywhere.

What is Pay TV Lite? It’s a Pay TV subscription plan that involves allowing customers to pick and choose their cable television channels in an a la carte fashion, without the hassle of having to commit to large contracts. A customer may, for instance, select five or six channels they want, and receive unlimited access to them for a reduced rate. Many Pay TV providers are now offering Pay TV Lite for standard television channels, and some are even allowing customers to select their favorite over-the-top (OTT) services like Netflix and Hulu through TV Lite packages, too.

As explained in a recent Videonet article, the main benefit to this type of package—which has been popular in Europe for quite some time already and is just starting to catch on in the U.S.—is that it keeps customers tuned into the Pay TV platform. In the case of a Pay TV Lite package offering an OTT service like Netflix, for instance, customers can easily move from premium on demand content to regular cable without having to migrate between platforms or devices.  As the article points out, Pay TV Lite is helping operators transition into “experience providers” as opposed to just Pay TV providers.

So, how do you know if a Pay TV Lite package would sit well with your customer base? Take a look at your main demographic, and figure out which type of customer you are looking to target. Pay TV Lite is proving to be popular amongst millennials, who—though willing to pay for television—are looking for greater flexibility and cost savings in their monthly packages.

Parents are another group that could strongly benefit from Pay TV Lite pacakages, as they can pick and choose child-friendly channels while bypassing those which contain adult themes.

Keep in mind that Pay TV Lite does not have to replace traditional cable services. It’s simply another great way that Pay TV operators can drive revenue while ensuring that customers are completely satisfied.