U.S. Cord-Cutting Is Slowing Down as Fewer Do Without Cable
Sort of good news for the pay TV industry: While it will continue to lose customers in the United States, it will lose them at a slower rate.
According to new data from Digital TV Research, the number of people cutting the cord is slowing down. In 2018, the pay TV industry lost 3.8 million subscriptions in the U.S. In 2019, it will lose only 3 million.
Meanwhile, U.S. households that don't subscribe to cable or satellite will climb from 11.3 million in 2014 to 48.6 million in 2024. In this streaming age, many homes will do without a TV entirely: 1.3 million households didn't have a TV in 2010, but that will increase to 9.5 million in 2024.
The overall number of pay TV subscribers in the U.S. will decline from 105 million in 2010 to 81 million in 2024.
Between 2010 and 2024, cable will lose 15 million subscribers. Between 2018 and 2024, satellite will shed 5 million subs.
With the number of subscription OTT services now on the market—and many high-profile entrants on the way—the question is why will pay TV declines slow down rather than speed up?
"Cord-cutting will slow despite a handful of new SVOD platforms planning to launch in the near future," explains Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research. "Most of the new platforms do not really compete with the traditional pay TV providers as they will offer on-demand content rather than linear channels. vMVPDs have had a hard time establishing themselves, although I think that Amazon Channels, Apple TV Channels, and Hulu Live will make an impact."
This data comes from North America Pay TV Forecasts, available for purchase.
Pay TV operators are raising prices and forcing people to stop service. When consumers drop low-priced bundles they pay more for standalone broadband.
The rate that U.S. households cut the cord is higher than ever, and the trend shows no sign of ending. Media companies need to worry as vMVPDs don't pick up the slack.
While more households now have an OTT subscription than a pay TV account, pay TV is still more lucrative. That won't change anytime soon.
The number of broadband-only homes in the U.S. will continue to decline, but globally cable and IPTV are strong.
While many people enjoy the reliability and comfort of their pay TV services, young adults are far more likely to choose streaming options.