There is so much content that can be enjoyed free of charge on TV: that is, on the free-to-air TV channels. Yet in spite of that abundance of free content, we still see significant numbers of people opting to subscribe for pay TV services. The question that arises, then, is as to why people would opt for the pay TV subscriptions: in spite of them having access to so much free content. And that is the question we will be attempting to answer in this article. You are bound to find this information to be particularly useful if you are involved in marketing pay TV services. In that case, the information in this article can help you in understanding the motivations of your target market: that is, the motivations of the people who opt for pay TV subscriptions.
As it turns out, there are six key reasons as to why people opt to subscribe for pay TV services (in spite of there being an abundance of content they can enjoy under the free-to-air TV model):
- The desire to access a wider variety of TV content: There are some people who feel that although there is indeed a lot of content offered under the free-to-air model, it tends to be of more or less the same variety. So this is where you find that most of the TV stations that operate under the free-to-air model are always investigating what their competitors are offering — and then going out of their way to offer their viewers exactly the same, or almost the same type of content. This leads to a situation where you find that the content on (free-to-air) TV channel A is almost exactly the same as what is on offer in channels B, C and D. Sometimes, one gets the impression that the people who run free-to-air TV stations lack creativity or originality. Then one soon comes to realize that the only way to escape from the monotony associated with free-to-air TV programming is by subscribing for pay TV services. And so this is one reason why you have people subscribing for cable TV, in spite of there being lots of content in the ‘free’ TV stations.
- The desire to access better quality TV content: There are some individuals who are of the view that the content offered under the free-to-air model is of mediocre quality. So they are inclined to subscribe for pay TV services in a bid to access better quality content. Yes, there may be hundreds of TV stations that are accessible under the free-to-air model. But you find that most of them are low quality TV channels, where you can hardly find any content that would uplift you. So it is in the search for more worthwhile content that you have some individuals opting to subscribe for pay TV services. See, the people who run pay TV services are motivated to always do their best to come up with the best possible quality content. They do so knowing that their business depends on them having high quality content – and that they would run out of business the moment they run out of truly high quality programming.
- The desire to access certain specific types of TV content: There are certain types of TV content that can only be accessed under the pay TV model. Like, for instance, if you are a soccer enthusiast, and you want to view matches from all leagues, you may find that it is only possible for you to do so if you subscribe for pay TV services. The same applies if you are keen on watching, say, boxing matches or certain types of movies. In this case, you may not have any problems with the variety or quality of content offered under the free-to-air model. But the fact that you want to access certain type of programming, and such programming is not available under the free-to-air model would force you to then subscribe for pay TV services.
- Aggressive marketing by pay TV service providers: Pay TV service providers tend to be very aggressive marketers. They go out of their way to tell you how fantastic their content is, and how much you would be ‘missing out’ if you don’t subscribe for their services. Sometimes, individuals are lured by this marketing to subscribe for pay TV services – even if they have no problem with what is being offered under the free-to-air model. The bit about ‘missing out’ (that is, the fear of missing out on what others are enjoying) is particularly effective, when it comes to getting people to subscribe for pay TV services. It doesn’t help that the pay TV service providers tend to give ‘free viewing’ offers to new subscribers. That is how the new subscribers get hooked, and by the time the free viewing offer is coming to an end, they have become so accustomed to the pay TV content that they are willing to pay for it.
- The desire to stop being bombarded with adverts: The price you have to pay for free-to-air TV content is in the form of (being bombarded with) ads. So it is the advertising revenue that keeps the free-to-air TV stations going. This means that as a free-to-air TV viewer, you have to be ready to put up with ads. It soon gets to a point where it starts irritating you. That is like where you have content being interrupted every five minutes, to run ads. And that is also like where you have ad segments that run for up to 15 minutes: which means having to put up with ad after ad, for a whole 15 minutes! And even when you switch channels, you still find that you have to contend with the ads, ‘wherever you go’. It soon gets to a point where you decide to seek refuge in pay TV – where you wouldn’t have to be bombarded with so many ads, so frequently.
- The desire to keep up with peers: There are some individuals who opt for pay TV subscriptions in an effort to keep up with the Jonnesses. It may look petty, but if every house in your neighborhood has a pay TV satellite dish, you can easily feel left out. If all your neighbors have cable TV, your kids may start pestering you to subscribe for the same. And then, so as to keep up with your peers, you would find yourself being inclined to subscribe for pay TV services.