DIGITAL TV SERVICES MATTER, BUT NEW TNS STUDY REVEALS VALUE AND QUALITY REMAIN KEY TO CUSTOMER RETENTION
National Survey Uncovers How Cable and Satellite Providers Fare on Loyalty
August 18, 2005 – New York – According to a new survey of cable and satellite TV customers, quality and value of services are more significant drivers of customer retention than the number of channels and digital features offered. The study, the first in a series of reports on Franchise Management conducted by TNS Media Research, a division of TNS, the world’s largest custom market information company, provides an innovative approach to understanding the drivers behind customer loyalty and retention by analyzing and integrating key drivers of customer retention and churn through digital set top box data..
TNS Media Research surveyed 2,500 customers of the country’s largest cable and satellite providers. Consumers rated their provider’s performance a range of areas, including value, service, programming, quality, usability and technology offerings, such as On Demand and bundling of internet and telephony. On average, only 44% percent of cable subscribers are committed to their provider. By contrast, 75 percent of satellite customers were committed to their operator, in part reflecting a more involved acquisition process.
Cable providers are trying to upgrade analog subscribers to digital services, and the Franchise Management study indicates that digital cable customers are more committed than analog. However, in a competitive marketplace, with satellite companies trying to convert cable customers, all providers need to focus on key tenets of customer service to improve loyalty and retention. For today’s cable and satellite providers, since subscriptions represent the bulk of operator revenues, protecting the subscriber asset base is a business imperative.
“Considering the level of at-risk subscribers, cable companies collectively face an estimated $1.2 billion revenue risk if they do not address the areas where they are falling short of customer expectations,“ said George Shababb, chief operating officer of TNS Media Research. “Simply pushing digital services and new technologies at customers isn’t enough to guarantee loyalty. Cable operators need to harness the data from set-top boxes and couple it with customer satisfaction data so they are better positioned to make the changes needed to maximize revenues and minimize churn.”
TNS Media Research plans to conduct this research on a bi-annual basis, while simultaneously conducting Franchise Management studies for individual cable and satellite operators. TNS Media Research plans to analyze the customer retention and loyalty data gleaned from the Franchise Management service with viewing data gathered from the set-top boxes (STB) of cable and satellite customers.
About the Research
TNS Media Research surveyed 2,500 consumers via its interactive access panel in April and May of 2005. Each operator has a minimum sample size of 250 consumers and data is weighted to operators’ national subscriber base. TNS will be conducting this research on a bi-annual basis.
About TNS TV and Radio Audience Measurement:
TNS is a leader in TV and radio audience measurement services, providing TV audience services in 27 countries worldwide, including China, Russia, Spain and the UK. It now has over 60,000 PeopleMeters in operation in some 35,000 households across the world. Through an international licensing agreement with Arbitron, TNS pioneered the commercialization of the Portable PeopleMeter (PPM) in Belgium. In Spring 2004, TNS was commissioned by British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), the UK's largest digital television broadcaster, to develop the first digital set top box-based panel in the world, analyizng clickstream data. This service will go live in Autumn 2005.
TNS is a market information group. We are the world’s largest custom research company and a leading provider of social and political polling. We are also a major supplier of consumer panel, TV audience measurement and media intelligence services.
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