In today’s ever-evolving media landscape, vMVPDs (virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distribution channels) are services that aggregate on-demand linear television content and deliver it via the internet. Most offer about 15 to 50 baseline channels at a monthly cost ranging from $20 to $60. Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV are some of the most widely used vMVPD products in the US.

We recently talked to American consumers about their experiences with vMVPD service trials. Here’s what we learned:

Consumers crave access to just the networks and content they care about, and they want it all in one place. With so many choices available, TV consumers are not entirely feeling the benefit of the breadth of services at their fingertips. They feel forced to sign up for multiple products to meet all their viewing needs. The platforms they have feel less satisfying, and they’re finding it more difficult than ever to navigate all their options. They want efficient, aggregated access to content – and at a very low price.

vMVPD services are making it easy to trial. Installation is simple and costs nothing, with no special equipment required. Consumers aren’t tied into a contract, making this a risk-free experiment. While it’s incredibly easy to sign up to free trials, one challenge is that a week isn’t long enough to fully explore a service to figure out which viewing needs it does (or doesn’t) serve.

People who try out vMVPDs often take a “test and learn” strategy while still maintaining all their other subscriptions. For those who parallel-run a vMVPD trial alongside their regular cable package, it can take at least a month to figure out if they’re happy enough with the vMVPD to consider making changes to their overall portfolio of content options. A one-month free trial, rather than a week, is ideal so that consumers have time to determine if the vMVPD is as good a solution in practice as it sounds in theory.

For the moment, vMVPDs are the latest option attempting to meet consumers’ need for efficient, aggregated content.  Only time will tell if vMVPDs are here to stay, or if a newer option will come along to fulfill the desire for a service that gives consumers access to only the content they want, in one place, at a low cost.