WOW Signups Were 77% Broadband-only in Q2 as MSO shifts Linear TV Customers to Streaming

CEO Teresa Elder says cable operator is working to ‘transition’ its traditional TV customers into its WOW! tv+ IPTV service or third-party vMVPDs

WideOpenWest lost another 14,100 linear video customers in the second quarter, and the Englewood, Colo.-based tier 2 cable operator is just fine with that.

WOW CEO Teresa Elder told investment analysts Tuesday that the MSO is actively seeking to transition its traditional bundled video customers into streaming TV products that compliment what is now its core offering, high-speed internet.

“That is our philosophy,” Elder said. “Our plan is to migrate our legacy video customers to high-speed data only and HSD and streaming solution or our IP based WOW! tv+ offering with high-speed data. This migration gives our customers more choice and potential cost savings while it also drives our network efficiency.”

WOW’s revenue from high-speed data services was up 5.3% year over year to $137.3 million in the second quarter, with the company picking up another 8,000 broadband customers. It’s HSD subscriber base now stands at 805,600 vs. just 351,700 customers for the service that put WOW and the rest of the cable industry in business in the first place decades ago, delivering linear TV.

Also read: WOW! tv+ Lives? MSO Touts Rollouts in Chicago, Detroit and Evansville, Ind.; Still Isn’t Marketing Android TV System

But WOW, like virtually every other cable operator on the planet, is now focused on growing HSD customers. With 75% of its user base now streaming video, getting customers to use either a third-party virtual pay TV service like Philo, fuboTV or YouTube TV, or WOW’s own “curated” streaming video platform, WOW! tv+, “moves customers off of our QAM network onto the IP network which absolutely gives us better network efficiency,” Elder said.

As WOW looks at “transitioning” its customer base to HSD-only complimented by streaming video, there’s been some confusion as to execution.

WOW has marketed third-party virtual MVPDs with its internet services. It’s also marketing a proprietary Android TV-based IP video service, WOW! tv+, in six markets.

“We see our existing video customers disconnecting from the video service, which is fine, and moving to our high-speed data with one of our OTT or streaming services,” Elder said. “And then the third option for those customers that still want a curated product from us. We feel great about the WOW! tv+ service. It offers benefits to the customers.”

Not only does WOW! tv+ remove QAM network congestion, it delivers a higher Net Promotor Score than WOW’s traditional video service, Elder added.

“it’s a win-win, a positive for the customers and it’s also a positive for us,” she said.