Subscribe To HBO Standalone May Convince An Insane Number Of People To Drop Cable Updates
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HBO’s standalone streaming service has been coming together for several months now. With the service planning to launch this coming April, it’s no surprise that enterprising surveyors are already asking current TV subscribers for their input on the new streaming service. It may come as a shock, but a recent survey found that as many as 7 million people might cut the cord when HBO begins offering its service this spring.
Here’s how they arrived at that number. There are about 100 million homes in the US that currently subscribe to TV. Parks Associates surveyed 10,000 households to ask them about their current TV purchasing habits, finding that 91% of those are currently pay TV subscribers, 17% of those would subscribe to an HBO streaming service and a further 50% of those would subsequently drop cable. That’s a whole lot of math, but when you add it all up, voila, that’s more than 7 million. It’s a big number and one that probably scares a lot of TV executives, but as an overwhelming majority of surveys have shown us over the years, what people think they’ll do and what they’ll actually do are often very different things.
Even if HBO is far and away someone’s favorite network, there are likely other shows they still watch on cable and network television. They might not be thinking of those when they complain about cable or claim they only need HBO, but when it comes time to actually call the cable company, many of them will remember how much they love live sports on ESPN. Beyond this, only one person in each household is filling out the survey. It might seem like a great idea to cut down on costs and order only HBO—and many households might opt to go this route—but the viewing habits of spouses and children may not have wholly been considered when filling the survey out. We also don’t know how much HBO standalone will cost—the survey guesstimated $14.99 a month, but that may not hold true in the coming months.
What will likely hold true from the survey is that HBO’s standalone service will impact “the entire ecosystem,” as Parks Associates Director of Research Brent Sappington noted with the company’s findings. Pay-TV providers will need to adjust. Network and cable providers will need to adjust. But other streaming providers, including Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu will now find themselves in competition with HBO. TV avenues are changing and with that, advertising must also change.
HBO isn’t the only company looking to delve more deeply into the streaming game. CBS is also offering a cheap and easily accessible streaming service. Recently, Dish also announced that Sling TV will give buyers a chance to purchase ESPN, TNT and a few other big channels to stream for only $20 a month. There is certainly an ever-increasing number of options for consumers to choose, and while 7 million people cutting their TV packages might be a little high, expect to see more consumer shifts in the coming years.