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Multi-channel video subscriptions have peaked, says study

LRGSome 86% of US households subscribe to multi channel video services though penetration is on the decline, according to new stats by Leichtman Research Group (LRG). 

The research claims that US multi-channel video penetration “essentially peaked at 88% in 2010” following the digital switchover, having increased from 82% in 2005.

Though multi-channel video providers reported a cumulative increase of less than 1% of subscribers in the past three years, penetration slightly declined over that time due to more rental housing units, said LRG.

The study claims that among TV households that don’t subscribe to a multi-channel video service, 40% subscribe to Netflix, 11% to Amazon Prime, and 7% to Hulu Plus. In total 42% of non-subscribers get at least one of these three over-the-top services, with just 8% of all TV households claiming to watch over-the-air TV only, down from 10% in 2010.

“The number of households subscribing to a multi-channel video service is slightly higher than it was three years ago, yet the penetration of households subscribing to a service is now below its peak. While some consumers continue to go in and out of the category, economic factors appear to be as a strong force in shaping this market as the emergence of over-the-top alternatives alone,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst LRG.