Comscore Sees Trouble for vMVPDs as Growth Slows and Prices Rise

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Pure-play virtual MVPD services are growing, but at a dramatically slower rate than they were last year. Consumers are streaming more video than ever, but vMVPDs aren't getting much of the action.

News 2Research company Comscore released its 2019 State of OTT report (first available in a webinar last week) and the numbers show a grim outlook for vMVPDs. Between March and May 2018, the use of pure-play vMVPDs grew by 48% year-over-year. A few month later, between December 2018 and February 2019, year-over-year growth dropped to 21%.

Comscore analyzed total time spent on OTT services and found that the "big four" (Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and Amazon Video) make up 78.8% of all OTT streaming time. Pure-play vMVPDs count for just 5.9% of the time.

That makes OTT a "four-horse race," Comscore says, noting that most OTT households still have a pay TV subscription. Prices for vMVPD subscriptions are increasing, putting them closer to those for traditional pay TV services.

"For vMVPDs, raising awareness (not to mention programming) is expensive; for many players, there is only so much runway to operate at a loss," the report notes.

Comscore's results come from its Total Home Panel, a national sample that measures over 8,000 homes daily and around 93,000 devices monthly. For more results, view Comscore's presentation (registration required).

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