Editorial: Live TV Streaming Will Never Succeed Unless They Can Speak a Language Their Customers Understand

Latin woman looking disappointed at her laptopscreen, sitting behind her desk at the office.

Latin woman looking disappointed at her laptopscreen, sitting behind her desk at the office.This week I attended the Pay TV Show in Denver and had an opportunity to hear from some of the biggest names in cable TV and live TV streaming. PlayStation Vue, Philo, Sling TV, Pluto TV, fuboTV, Hulu, Amazon, and a host of others companies all sent executives to the event.

During the talk it was clear that many in the industry just don’t understand how to communicate with their customers. Terms like MVPD, SVOD, OTT, and others flew around in both their internal talk and with content they want to target.

Cable TV executives let cord cutting grow for years before they decided to address it. After millions of Americans built cord cutting with names, terms, and ideas, now cable TV wants to redefine everything.

Here are some of the terms translated for cord cutters to understand:

MVPD = Live TV streaming services

SVOD = On-demand services like Netflix

OTT = Cord Cutting

You have likely seen these terms and others in quotes and news stories about the world of cord cutting. If you are a cable executive you may know what they mean, but most of their customers have no idea.

If cable executives really want to reach out to cord cutters, they need to speak a language customers understand. Terms like MVPD and SVOD need to be removed from their vocabulary in press releases, interviews, and other places.

Using terms like MVPD gives cord cutters the feeling that cable executives want to be better than their customers. So much better that they can’t be brought down to use terms their customers understand.

Consider this some free advice. Times changed, you got left behind. Now pay-TV executives need to adapt to their customers and not expect their customers to adapt to them.

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