BOSTON – Over two-thirds of American pay television subscribers would be willing to switch providers if offered a price discount of 20 percent, according to a report published by Strategy Analytics. Cable customers were the most likely to churn, but only 33 percent of telco TV/IPTV subscribers would jump ship. The report, “Digital TV Customer Satisfaction: U.S. Survey Results 2H’09,” surveys 856 digital pay television subscribers in the United States.

Overall, respondents reported satisfaction with their current digital television providers, with 71 percent saying they were “somewhat” or “very” satisfied. There was a marked difference  among access platforms: Telco/IPTV customers reported 95 percent overall satisfaction, compared with 78 percent for satellite and 67 percent for cable.

However, even when customers liked the service they were receiving, they were not happy with what they were paying for it. Fewer than 22 percent of subscribers on any platform felt they were getting “value for money” that exceeded expectations. 

“The value-for-money result was perhaps the most important finding of this study,” notes Ben Piper, director of the Strategy Analytics Multiplay Market Dynamics service. “It underscores a trend we have been seeing for the past 18 months: A growing number of customers are beginning to question the value of a traditional pay TV subscription in light of expanded over-the-top offerings, such as Hulu and Netflix.”

While telco TV/IPTV is expected to make impressive strides in the upcoming years, the platform’s success is certainly not a foregone conclusion, according to Piper. In a highly penetrated market such as the United States, growth will not be organic. Rather, telcos will need to articulate a compelling case for users to switch.