Qualitative Data is a Quantitative Goldmine: Why Keep Cable?

by MAi Research January 21, 2022

The last time we delved into the streaming services marketplace we were exploring consumer sentiment towards the Marvel and Star Wars franchises. This time we’re going to focus on a group of people that may not be getting enough attention: consumers who subscribe to both a streaming service and a cable or satellite provider. Think of them as “potential cord-cutters” — consumers who have ventured into the Wild West of the streaming market but aren’t ready to cut the cable quite yet.

Demographically, these potential cord-cutters are significantly more likely to be male. But perhaps more importantly they appear to be very pleased with their cable/satellite service: fully nine-in-ten intend to keep their cable/satellite for the next year. This suggests that cable/satellite providers are making strong retention efforts despite the proliferation of streaming services, and these potential cord-cutters could prove difficult to pull away from Big Cable.

 

 

We’ve previously touched on Pathfinder’s ability to discern consumer sentiment in open-ended text data, measured on a scale from -100% to +100%. In the case of our potential cord-cutters, a sentiment comparison reveals something interesting:

 

Pathfinder Sentiment: Totally positive (+100%) vs. totally negative (-100%)

Potential cord-cutters (the ‘Streaming + Cable/Sat.’ column) are less likely to use positive sentiment when talking about adult content, new content, and documentaries, but are more likely to do so when talking about nostalgic content and cartoons.

“[Disney+] brings back childhood. It makes me happy to see old shows and movies.” – Female Cable/Satellite Subscriber, age 18-24

“[Disney+] has the best in children’s movies and the whole family can watch. The best in cartoons.” – Female Cable/Satellite Subscriber, age 45-54

 

It’s possible that this affinity for nostalgic content and cartoons is one of the reasons these consumers are still holding on to their cable bill — perhaps they don’t believe any streaming service will meet this need as effectively. The data can’t tell us for sure, of course, but it certainly suggests that any streaming service looking to lure these consumers away from cable once and for all may want to spend less time highlighting their latest releases, and more time talking up their nostalgic content and cartoons.

Among those consumers who rely on multiple content options, streaming services certainly have a seat at the table. However, if they want to become the sole content provider for potential cord-cutters, understanding why these consumers still rely on cable or satellite — and figuring out how to better fill those needs — will be the key to success.

To learn more about how MAi Research and Pathfinder Analytics work with clients to creatively address challenging business questions, please check us out online at www.mairesearch.com