MoneySuperMarket: 4 key consumer trends in broadband

We are so MoneySuperMarket!
We are so MoneySuperMarket!

The Broadband World Forum Blog is so MoneySuperMarket! At least it is today, since we have an exclusive guest post from Kate Devine, Head of Broadband at the famous price comparison website.

Devine is a confirmed speaker at this year’s Broadband World Forum (20-22 October 2015, London ExCel), where she’ll be sharing some of MoneySuperMarket’s incomparable insight into consumer behaviour. As a foretaste, here she selects four key consumer trends in broadband…

1. High in Fibre

We’re seeing quite a big shift in behaviour towards fibre broadband. Partly that’s a consequence of the government’s fibre rollout campaign: 78% of households can get fibre at the moment, while the government has pledged that 90% will be able to get fibre by 2016 and 95% by the end of 2017, so availability is increasing.

However, consumer demand is growing in line.  The BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK) works on a 20% adoption rate when they do fibre rollouts, and we’re seeing uptake hitting that 20%, and an additional growth in consumers wanting to take on fibre.

It’s a price premium but speed is becoming so important to people.

2. Turnoff TV

On the other side of consumer behaviour we’re seeing a decline in the demand for getting a traditional  TV package through your broadband cable provider like Sky and BT.

Looking at the combination of these two trends in unison suggests that consumers are streaming more – they’re not watching so much conventional TV on their TV set, but are getting fibre so they can have Netflix and Amazon Prime, so they can stream shows.

Providers seem to be getting ready for this shift in behaviour. Sky’s got NOW TV as an option where you can pay on demand; Netflix is growing at a much faster rate than any of the other TV providers (albeit they have a much smaller market share); BT has their free BT Sport App, allowing broadband or mobile customers to consume their TV sport content.

3. Beginnings of a price war?

The prevalence of free broadband, where you just pay your line rental (and then it’s advertised as being free) — that’s been quite a big trend over the last nine months or so.

I think the providers are a little bit concerned we’re entering a price war: I imagine the industry’s looking to move away from everything being about price, and is looking to emphasise instead the TV content they offer or the hardware you get when you sign up with them: the ability to record and rewind TV, to have an app that you can set from your phone to select programmes you want to record and watch on the go – these kinds of extras.

4. Market consolidation

There’s a lot of new people entering the quad play market. The expectation is that we’ll see even more bundling and move away from free single service broadband.

People are looking to control content and consumers across all devices and that works better for a service provider if they can have multiple products with every customer: it obviously helps with retention and loyalty and being able to service them well and retain them.

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