New numbers out this week suggest that, at least in Massachusetts, new FiOS availability is contributing to subscriber loss for both cable and satellite operators. Analysis from OneTrak shows that incumbent cable providers can see losses exceeding 10%, while satellite operators are facing even worse. (As many as 40% of FiOS TV customers may be migrating from satellite.)
The question is – why are people ditching cable and satellite for FiOS?
- Bandwidth – There is a small subset of the consumer population that cares about high bandwidth speeds, but throughput is really more of an operator concern right now than a widespread consumer one. It’s hard to know if the number of consumers determined to have fiber-to-the-home speeds is significant enough to account for measurable cable and satellite desertions.
- New Features/Interface – No doubt FiOS 2.0 is sharp, but how many people know what it looks like, much less what it can do? My guess is not many yet, but then again, I haven’t seen the FiOS ad campaigns in Massachusetts.
- The Bundle – This could be a compelling reason. Cable has a triple-play bundle, but it’s only become well-established relatively recently, meaning that plenty of people aren’t getting triple-play services yet. Meantime, Verizon has been delivering the triple play through its partnership with DirecTV, which means it has an easy sales channel for stealing those DirecTV customers for a full FiOS experience.
- I Hate My [Fill in the Blank] Provider – Anyone who has had a bad customer experience has motivation to make a change. I wonder what customer satisfaction was like in Massachusetts before FiOS TV rolled in.