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Pay TV penetration continues downward trend in US

Almost two-thirds of US households are still subscribed to a traditional pay TV operator, but that amount is decreasing.

According to New Parks Associates consumer research, 62% of US broadband households subscribe to a traditional pay TV service via a cable or satellite provider, down from 69% in Q1 2019.

The firm points out that the gap between households in the country subscribing to OTT services and pay TV is the biggest it has ever been. While 62% subscribe to pay TV operators, more than 70% have at least one OTT subscription, with OTT penetration approaching the level of pay TV in Q1 2017 (75%).

The research also found that households are watching an average of 37 hours of TV per week across pay TV and OTT.

Steve Nason, research director at Parks Associates, said: “The explosion of online viewing options and video consumption came at the same time many shelter-in-place orders were enacted. Households are relying more and more on OTT services for a top-quality entertainment experience.

“The spike in online video consumption, the decrease in pay TV-only households, and the shift of pay TV online are widening the gap between OTT and traditional pay-TV. Traditional services are looking to migrate to the cloud to get the best of pay-TV and OTT.”