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Showme … something

Horizon research releases data from a survey on who might buy Telecom’s proposed new service, and puts an entertaining spin on the numbers.

The headline number, from Telecom’s position, is that 48.7% of survey respondents, which researchers extrapolate to 1.56 million Kiwis aged 18+, say they “might use Telecom’s proposed new service”.

Perhaps not surprisingly, of those who already pay for TV content – Sky subscribers – the number is higher, with 56% who might give it a go.

No firm information about the service is available yet, including its name. Announced as ShowmeTV (and still operating a placeholder website under that name), Telecom has since announced its intention to change the name because of similarities with Tauranga-based Show Television and its online shopping brand Show Me.

Telecom itself will rebrand as Spark.

With no content offer and pricing information published, nobody surveyed was able to offer a firm commitment to trying it. The survey’s numbers are basically split between people who are “interested” (48.7%) and those who are “not interested” (47.4%). The 1.4% difference between those numbers falls within the survey’s margin of error which “at a 95% confidence level is +/- 1.9%”.

Just to confuse things, 32.2% said they might use Telecom’s proposed new service “if the content and price are affordable”. One might get a similar level of interest in trips to the moon “if the price is affordable”.

A quarter of those polled said they would more interested if ShowmeTV was bundled with other Telecom services like mobile, landline and internet. That level of interest could be interpreted in a number of ways. Well more than 25% of the population already use those Telecom services, so the number might suggest some unwillingness to benefit from lower pricing only by remaining with Telecom.

Others might take the attitude that if Telecom is the provider of both the internet service and content delivered over it, there’s a better chance of getting them to fix something when it goes wrong.

Before Telecom and TVNZ jumped so enthusiastically on board TiVo, there were positive numbers concerning levels of consumer interest being bandied about. They stood alongside numbers that showed just how excellent Telecom’s delivery of the service over the internet would be. And died alongside them too.

The content offer and the price will determine the level of early adopter interest. The more cautious will wait and see how the service performs. It’s a long road ahead, and a long while before the numbers from the present survey might be reflected in reality.

The full press release is here.

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