VAB: OTT complements, not replaces, pay-TV | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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While much soul-searching has arisen in the pay-TV industry over cord-cutting, new data shows that traditional cable subscriptions are far from obsolete.

netflix multipledevices 18july2017Cutting to the Chase, a report by the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), shows that cable+ subscriptions in the United States have remained steady at 83% of households (98 million homes) for the last five years, even with the introduction of new streaming options. When TV households do use streaming services (over-the-top households), the majority of them (71%) use these services in addition to, not as a replacement of, cable subscriptions.

The minority of homes that are broadband-only (only 4% of all TV households) generally are because of financial constraints, not content preference. In fact, 80% of cord cutters/nevers have said they would opt for an MVPD subscription if cost weren’t a factor. Furthermore, when financial situations change, as is often the case with millennials who make up a large portion of cord-nevers, they generally end up becoming cable subscribers as their age and income mature.

“The numbers don’t support the narrative of cord-cutting either accelerating or being evidence of some consumer movement to streaming apps as a preference to TV; in fact even the heaviest video streamers watch eight times as much TV as they do streaming video” said Sean Cunningham, president and CEO, VAB. “As usual for a VAB report, all of the facts and figures are based on audited, third-party industry trading currency that buyer and seller have an equal analytic view of versus self-serving projections based on facts, not in evidence infused with wishful ad-tech thinking."