The Hub Reports

Continuously updated analysis of the most important trends and research in the TV industry, in a package that’s easy to use and share.

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February 2017

Let’s Get Ready to Bundle

When it comes to media and entertainment, we’re all living in an increasingly à la carte world. Consumers no longer have to buy an entire record album to listen to individual songs. Reading an interesting article no longer requires a subscription to an entire magazine or newspaper—or even purchasing a single copy.

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When it comes to media and entertainment, we’re all living in an increasingly à la carte world. Consumers no longer have to buy an entire record album to listen to individual songs. Reading an interesting article no longer requires a subscription to an entire magazine or newspaper—or even purchasing a single copy.

This shift has had more than just an impact on the way media and entertainment services are distributed and purchased. It’s resulted in a new mindset among consumers, who have grown more and more accustomed to the idea that they shouldn’t have to pay for “extras” that they never asked for in the first place.

Up until recently, the TV industry has managed to remain relatively immune to this phenomenon, with the vast majority of consumers still subscribing to television service on a bundled-network basis—despite the fact that most TV customers say they watch only a small percentage of the channels available to them.

But as with most other aspects of the industry, the landscape is changing. Skinny bundles have emerged that offer a smaller package of networks at a lower price than cable. Companies like HBO, Showtime, and CBS offer standalone subscriptions without requiring a pay TV contract. OTT providers like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon enable viewers to go outside the traditional MVPD/network system to create their own TV packages.  And brand new services (like DIRECTV NOW, or upcoming live TV packages from Hulu and Google) will provide consumers even more options.

In this study, we’ll explore:

  • How much consumers know about these new offerings
  • How appealing they are generally
  • Which approaches are most attractive
  • Which work together best to offer the greatest perceived value

The study was conducted among 1,502 consumers aged 16-74, who watch 5+ hours of TV and have broadband service at home.

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December 2016

The Branding of TV

Our first-of-its-kind study on the role that brand plays in how TV viewers make their TV provider and viewing decisions.

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Today’s TV consumer is faced with unprecedented choice—in the providers they can choose for TV access, the networks they can turn to in their search for content they’ll enjoy, and the individual shows they can decide to try out.

Hub’s Branding of TV study looks at the role that brand plays in how TV viewers make their TV provider and viewing decisions. Specifically, the study offers insight into:

  • TV, Defined: What brands do consumers equate with TV viewing in general? What TV brands are most top-of-mind?
  • Categories: How do consumers make sense of the dizzying array of TV brands that exist today? Which are considered providers of service? Which are considered providers of content?
  • Image: Which brands do consumers feel most familiar with? Which have the most distinct identities? Which specific characteristics do viewers associate with different brands?
  • Preference: If viewers could only choose a handful of network brands, which would they be? Which networks are most successful in persuading consumers to give a new show a try?
  • Source Impact: How well do viewers recognize the brands that originally produced the content they see from non-linear sources?

The study was conducted among 1,300 consumers aged 16-74, who watch 5+ hours of TV and have broadband service at home.

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October 2016

Conquering Content

The TV content boom continues. The number of original shows produced each year continues to rise. Providers are expanding their list of exclusive/original content…

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The TV content boom continues. The number of original shows produced each year continues to rise.  Providers are expanding their list of exclusive/original content, and traditional TV providers are making big investments in streaming experiences to compete with Netflix.  To keep up, the average viewer watches across multiple traditional and online platforms.

Amid all of this growth, at least one thing remains about the same:  the amount of disposable time for entertainment.   Hub’s Conquering Content study tracks consumers’ attitudes and priorities as they evaluate and choose where their TV time will go.  You’ll learn:

  • Selection: how do consumers approach the choice of what to watch?  What are the biggest benefits, and challenges, of so much choice?
  • Discovery process: How do consumers learn about new shows in the first place?  What’s the relative impact of word of mouth, vs. traditional on-air promotions, vs. social media?
  • Choice of platform: Which TV providers are particularly good at making the volume of content manageable for consumers?
  • Cross-Pollination: Does putting episodes online generate linear viewers?
  • Availability: What impact do things like episode stacking and full-season release of episodes have on which shows consumers decide to watch?
  • Exclusive content: To what extent are consumers aware of, or influenced by, originals/exclusive content on SVODs like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon? Or on new platforms like CBS All Access?

The study is conducted among 1,200 U.S. consumers age 16-74, with broadband access at home and who watch a minimum of 5 hours of TV per week.

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September 2016

TV and Advertising

Although subscription-based, online TV platforms continue to gain traction, free TV with ad support still plays a critically important role in the TV ecosystem. How do consumers feel about the ad-supported model, on its own and compared with other methods of paying for TV? TV and…

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Although subscription-based, online TV platforms continue to gain traction, free TV with ad support still plays a critically important role in the TV ecosystem. How do consumers feel about the ad-supported model, on its own and compared with other methods of paying for TV?

TV and Advertising covers…

  • Which pay models consumers prefer for TV content
  • What they see as the key benefits and drawbacks of each model—including the free, ad-supported model
  • How likely viewers are to engage in ad avoidance behaviors
  • What approaches to ad delivery they say would be most likely grab their attention

The study is conducted among 1,206 U.S. consumers age 16-74, with broadband access at home and who watch a minimum of 5 hours of TV per week.

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June 2016

Decoding the default

The 3rd wave of our tracking study on TV sources and devices.

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Today, the average viewer uses pay TV in conjunction with multiple online sources.  The most important question is no longer which platforms are viewers using, but which are they using *first* and *most often*.

The third wave of “Decoding the Default” covers…

  • Which TV sources consumers are using
  • How their total TV time is allocated across them
  • Which sources are emerging as TV *defaults*—the first thing viewers turn on when they want to watch
  • The factors that lead consumers to choose one source as their default over another

The study is conducted among 1,217 U.S. consumers age 16-74, with broadband access at home and who watch a minimum of 5 hours of TV per week.

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April 2016

What’s TV worth

The 4th wave of our annual tracking study on the consumption of TV content.

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The 4th wave of our annual tracking study on the consumption of TV content. Including:

  • Which TV sources consumers are using
  • Which screens they’re using to watch
  • Which devices they use to connect their TV sets to the internet
  • Which platforms and providers they feel provide the most value

The study is conducted among 1,502 U.S. consumers age 16-74, with broadband access at home and who watch a minimum of 5 hours of TV per week.

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February 2016

non traditional TV

This first-time study will explore new forms of video: short form content, “digital-first” video created to be consumed online, and content delivered through YouTube personalities and networks.

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This first-time study will explore new forms of video: short form content, “digital-first” video created to be consumed online, and content delivered through YouTube personalities and networks. We’ll measure consumption of this content, why it’s appealing, and the extent to which it competes with/complements viewing from other sources.

The study is conducted among 1,246 U.S. consumers age 16-74, with broadband access at home and who watch a minimum of 5 hours of TV per week.

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December 2015

TV EVERYWHERE

Our annual study on authenticated TV Everywhere from networks and MVPDs. This research tracks…

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Our annual study on authenticated TV Everywhere from networks and MVPDs.  This research tracks…

  • Awareness of  TVE capabilities
  • Understanding of the TVE value proposition
  • How many eligible MVPD customers use TVE
  • How TVE impacts MVPD subscriber satisfaction and churn
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October 2015

CONQUERING CONTENT

Our annual tracking study on TV discovery.  In an world where consumers have more shows and providers to choose from than ever before… How do they find out about new shows to watch What determines which shows get watched over others How have online TV options…

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Our annual tracking study on TV discovery.  In an world where consumers have more shows and providers to choose from than ever before…

  • How do they find out about new shows to watch
  • What determines which shows get watched over others
  • How have online TV options changed the way consumers feel about finding new shows
  • How does online content compete with and/or drive live TV
  • What forms of promotion are most effective at breaking through the clutter?
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August 2015

FINDING INPUT ONE

A study on TV devices—the screens that consumers watch on, and the devices that connect their TV sets to the internet. You’ll learn…

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A study on TV devices—the screens that consumers watch on, and the devices that connect their TV sets to the internet.  You’ll learn…

  • Default device: the first remote consumers reach for when they want to watch TV
  • How TV consumption is distributed across different devices in a household
  • Which devices are most associated with particular segments, like Millennials or households with kids
  • How device usage varies by type of content (e.g. live shows, movies, sports, binge viewing)
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June 2015

DECODING THE DEFAULT

Our annual tracking study on viewers *default* TV sources: the first thing they turn to when they want to watch TV. You’ll learn…

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Our annual tracking study on viewers *default* TV  sources:  the first thing they turn to when they want to watch TV.  You’ll learn…

  • The most common TV defaults among viewers
  • The most widely used supplement sources – the “second choice” after the default
  • How viewers use online sources in conjunction with live TV
  • How specific scenarios—watching alone vs. with others; watching particular genres; binge viewing—impact default TV choice
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April 2015

WHAT’S TV WORTH

Our annual flagship study on the state of the TV industry.

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Our annual flagship study on the state of the TV industry.  This project tracks:

  • How viewing is distributed across live, VOD, SVOD, and other options
  • Which TV providers are perceived as the best value for the money
  • The factors that lead consumers to choose one TV provider over another
  • The TV features that viewers are most willing to pay for
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February 2015

TIME SHIFTING

A deep-dive into time shifted TV, including viewing on VOD, DVR, authenticated TV Everywhere apps, and OTT platforms.

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A deep-dive into time shifted TV, including viewing on VOD, DVR, authenticated TV Everywhere apps, and OTT platforms.  You’ll learn:

  • How these platforms influence live viewing,
  • Which providers are gathering the largest audiences
  • The factors that lead viewers to time-shift rather than watch live, and vice versa.
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