While watching Hulu and other premium online content on your big screen TV isn’t a threat to cable companies right now (TV watching is at an all time high, and getting high-quality content from PC to TV isn’t that easy yet), Comcast (s CMSCA) can see the writing on the wall, so last week it mobilized its own online video initiative to provide its customers with a way to watch premium TV programming online as part of a cable subscription. Comcast says this extension will be free (though there could be some pay-per-view elements). But according to research from The Diffusion Group (TDG), people will pony up for such a service.
TDG writes (emphasis theirs):
[A]pproximately 43% of consumers are to varying degrees interested in such a TV-to-PC service. Here’s the best part: they’ll pay extra for this privilege. In other words, they do not view a TV-to-PC video service as something they are entitled to due to the fact they are a Pay TV subscriber. … [T]o enjoy their TV content on their desktop and laptop PCs:
• 48% of those interested would spend as much as $10 per month above their current
Pay TV fees;
• 12% would spend as much as $15 per month; and
• 7% would spend $20 or more per month.
TDG does some math and figures that Comcast could wind up with an extra $522 million in revenue each year by charging $10 a month. But that is contingent upon people paying — and customers not canceling another part of their service. People have gotten used to a free premium content online right now; I’m not sure how much more they’ll spend for ad-supported video. Plus, spending ten bucks a month for access to content stored online could negate my need for a DVR, for instance, or another cable box in the house.
Is there a price point sweet spot for you? If so, what is it? Would you drop other services?