Sunday, May 6, 2007

Microsoft: Consumers Value TV Features over Price

More than 60 percent of consumers in seven developed countries would consider switching TV service providers to obtain the features and content they want, at current market prices or higher, according to a survey commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by Screen Digest earlier this year. The study surveyed 5,000 consumers in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Microsoft said the reports contradicts previously held assumptions that price is the single most important factor in selecting TV service providers.

The study estimated a total of 230 million potential candidates for more advanced TV services across these countries, with 75 million of those consumers expressing interest in switching and paying for a TV service with the features and channels they want. An additional 2,000 surveys were conducted in urban China and India. When these countries are included, the global audience for advanced TV services increases to 380 million, with 200 million willing to switch and pay for a new TV service.

Additional key findings highlighted by Microsoft:

  • One-third of "entertainment-oriented" households are willing to pay more than their current country average for the features and content they want, while another 33 percent would switch for new features at the same price. Entertainment-oriented households currently spend money on entertainment through either a home Internet subscription, a home pay TV subscription, or higher-than-average monthly entertainment spending on items such as DVD rentals and purchases. Nearly 80 percent of households in the seven benchmark developed countries are entertainment-oriented.

  • Driven by economic growth and broadband adoption, China and India have the highest percentage of high-potential IPTV households.

  • Among consumer segments most interested in paying for an advanced TV service, a significant proportion (30 percent) do not already have home broadband Internet service. Many of these consumers would prefer a TV-only or a TV-plus-phone package, rather than a "triple play" package including Internet, phone and TV.

"Old assumptions about this new TV market will need to be turned upside down to effectively build the customer base," said Christine Heckart, general manager, marketing, Microsoft TV Division. "Our research clearly demonstrates that the purchase paradigm is changing. Price and channel lineup have long been the primary criteria for consumers selecting TV services. Our research suggests that consumers are willing to pay for a richer TV experience that is personal, easy to use, connected and social -- and that consumers are willing to pay for."


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