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Leichtman: US pay TV use down to 78% of homes

The proportion of US TV households that subscribe to some form of pay TV service has dropped by eight percentage points in the past five years, according to Leichtman Research Group (LRG).

The new study claims that 78% of US television homes currently take pay TV, down from 86% in 2013, 87% in 2008 and 81% in 2004.

It also found that the decline in pay TV use was more pronounced among younger age groups, with just 70% of adults aged 18-44 now taking pay TV, versus 83% in 2013.

By comparison, 84% of those aged 45 and over were found to subscribe to a pay TV service, down just four percentage points from 88% in 2013.

“Pay TV subscriptions are not consistent across demographic group,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group.

“The penetration of pay TV among younger individuals and related groups, including renters, singles, and movers, has declined at a faster pace in recent years, expanding demographic divides in pay TV.”

Other findings of the research included: 32% of people who moved in the past year do not subscribe to a pay TV service; 44% of people that use just one TV at home are non-subscribers; and 27% of TV households with annual incomes below US$50,000 do not subscribe to a pay TV service.

However, among those that do subscribe to pay TV, their average monthly spend on the service is up by 1% in the past year to roughly US$107.

The findings are taken from LRG’s sixteenth annual study on the topic, titled ‘Pay TV in the US 2018’ and are based on a phone survey of 1,152 US households.