It’s easy to forget about TV in summer. Sunshine, holidays and a drop off in content mean viewers are less likely to tune in compared with other times of year.

So providers should be working harder than ever to retain their viewers. Research from Sanford Bernstein shows that  pay-TV subscriptions are falling. It found that subscriptions dropped by 1.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2015, compared to a 0.9 per cent gain in the third quarter one year earlier.

And it’s a well-known fact that customers are a lot more expensive to get back: the cost of acquiring new viewers is far higher than retaining them. Competition is fierce and if you lose customers, they have more choice than ever to go somewhere else.

Cuddle the cord cutters

Know your customers

But there are things you can do to act now. You know more about your customers’ viewing habits than they do. And you can use that to your advantage. One way of doing that is to offer more relevant content.

With that insight, you can make suggestions for content that viewers may not be aware of. That will give them the most out of their service and keep them loyal.

You should blend elements of personalization into the customer’s viewing experience. For example, provide subtle viewing suggestions through their electronic program guide.

Flexible models

Subscription packages ought to make viewing content across devices easier, as everything is in one place. Fragmented viewing habits, where customers have a number of pay-as-you-go deals at the same time, can land them with the extra cost of paying to watch content on their phones.

Remind customers that they can access your content from anywhere and on any device and ensure your services are optimized for all platforms.

Analyze this

Offering services across devices also means you can view customers’ habits, preferences, likes and dislikes with greater accuracy. So, for example, this may mean offering similar content, or box sets of a show when that series ends. It may be in offering different sports content in the off-season.

It may even mean offering payment breaks and more flexible pricing and bundling that reflect how the viewer uses your service, in order to keep them as a customer, and reduce the risk of the dreaded churn.

When it comes to the seasonal drop off, analytics can also be used on a higher level.

Look for trends. Is it always the same people who leave and come back? What types of customers are demographically most likely to leave your service during the Summer? Once you start asking those questions, you can start targeting specific ‘at risk’ customer groups.

As consumers become increasingly savvy in the way they pay for their TV services, it’s up to you to become equally intelligent and flexible with their services.

Make sure that the summer slowdown doesn’t turn into a permanent drop in your subscription services uptake.

Find out more

To find out how you can improve your services and maintain a loyal subscriber base, take a look at Cisco’s Service Provider Video Solutions.


Adam Davies

Technical Leader, Engineering

Service Provider, Video Solutions