US pay TV providers will lose 26% of their legacy subscriber base by 2030 amid growing competition from virtual pay TV providers, according to The Diffusion Group (TDG).
TDG tips legacy pay TV penetration to fall from 81% of US households in 2017 to 60% in 2030. Over the same time period it expects the penetration of virtual pay TV services – such as Sling TV, DirecTV Now and YouTube TV – to grow from roughly 4% of US households to 14%. This marks an increase of 350% but from a very small base.
“TDG said early on that the future of TV was an app. Unfortunately, most incumbent MVPDs weren’t taking notes,” said Joel Espelien, TDG senior analyst.
“The question is no longer if the future of TV is an app, but how quickly and economically incumbents can adapt to this truth and transition to an all-broadband app-based live multi-channel system.”
Overall TDG’s report, ‘The Rise of the Virtual Pay TV Provider’, claims that the penetration of live multi-channel pay TV services will decline from 85% of US households in 2017 to 79% in 2030.
It said that while this represents a loss of only 7%, it illustrates the “ongoing secular decline of a once healthy market space”.
TDG predicts that by 2030, roughly 30 million US households will live without an MVPD service of any kind.