US pay-TV dips as antenna-only TV services rise to 15% of broadband households | Media Analysis | Business
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Research from Parks Associates has revealed the growing strain on the US pay-TV market with an increase in Internet-only video subscriptions and a rising percentage of broadband households using only antennas to receive TV.

parks antenna TV 19 Jan In its latest round-up of the strength of cord-cutting in the country, 360 View: Entertainment Services in US Broadband Households, Parks found that antenna-only usage has steadily increased since 2013 to reach 15% of high speed Internet homes, and observed declining pay-TV satisfaction in each of the last three years. In 2016, twice as many subscribers downgraded (12%) their pay-TV service than upgraded (6%) it, while the likelihood of non-subscribers adopting pay-TV has declined since 2012. Only a half as many so-called cord-nevers  adopted pay-TV in 2016 (2%) as in 2015 (4%).

“Pay-TV subscriptions have dropped each year since 2014, falling to 81% of US broadband households in Q3 2016,” explained Parks senior director of research Brett Sappington. “Several factors have played a part in this decline, including growth in the OTT video market, increasing costs for pay-TV services, and consumer awareness of available online alternatives.”

Among these factors is satisfaction. Only a third of pay-TV subscribers are very satisfied with their pay-TV service, while 63% of US broadband households subscribe to at least one over-the-top (OTT) service and almost a third of US broadband households have multiple OTT service subscriptions.

“Pay-TV providers are adapting to address a fundamentally different video services market than existed three years ago,” Sappington added. “Challenges still remain for consumers in aggregating and discovering their favourite content and being able to watch on their preferred screen. Live broadcasts of high profile events remain a challenge for online delivery, though pay-TV and broadcast TV conquered live distribution long ago. These challenges represent areas in which pay-TV providers, or new entrants, can still win consumer attention, viewership, and revenue.”

Looking at what may happen during 2017, the 360 View: Entertainment Services in US Broadband Households report forecast a continued decline of traditional pay-TV subscriptions, characterised by the rise of online pay-TV services.