With Aereo’s date in the Supreme Court just one week away, a little good news/bad news about public perception of the streaming device.
First, the good news (at least if you’re an Aereo exec) from a Centris Marketing Science survey:
- 53% of respondents from non-pay-TV households say they are very likely or somewhat likely to subscribe to Aereo instead of a traditional pay-TV service.
- 44% of pay-TV subscribers who also use streaming services also are somewhat or very likely to use the service.
- 41% of all pay-TV households.
That, of course is also bad news, if you’re a broadcasting executive.
For service provider? Meh. A little good, a little bad… it all depends if operators will be able to bring their own Aereo-style product to market quickly.
Granted, the numbers from the “somewhat” and “very likely” segments aren’t exactly barnburners. But, it’s important to note that Aereo is, essentially, a mystery to most American consumers. It’s only available in a handful of markets, and even in those markets Aereo isn’t marketing the device to a very large segment.
In fact, Sanford Bernstein Research conducted a pair of consumer panels in New York City last spring and found that none of the participants — young, relatively low-income and single — had ever heard of Aereo, not a good thing for a tech company that, logically, should appeal to young cord nevers.
Sanford Analyst Todd Juenger said younger viewers discover in college that pay TV is replaceable, and opt for more flexible — and cheaper–viewing options.
“The demands of college (both time and money) ultimately trump the need for the vast array of content choices a pay-TV package can provide,” Juenger wrote. “This behavior is then carried forward beyond college, and the cord-cutter is born.”
So, what’s the bottom line? It’s increasingly obvious that viewers want change, that they want better alternatives that the standard – expensive fare – from their pay-TV provider.
Will Aereo prevail in its court battle with broadcasters? Before NAB, I would have said it was a long shot. And, while it’s not yet even money, I think there’s a lot of smart money counting on the High Court to side with innovation.
If it does… oh, boy.