Traditional multichannel subscriptions in US to reach 82.3 million, down 10.8 million households over five years

The increasing loss of traditional multichannel subscribers in the U.S. is further splintering a video landscape in which streamed bundles, online subscription services, self-aggregation and over-the-air delivery are playing more prominent roles, according to findings from Kagan, a group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.

“Changing viewing habits point to mounting losses for traditional video services, and challengers are lining up to capitalize,” said Ian Olgeirson, Research Director, S&P Global Market Intelligence. “However, the operators are not without significant fortifications enabling expectations for preserving a majority share in the five-year outlook.”

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The transformation has amplified the conditions for change and instability in the market, according to the latest segmentation of video delivery options among U.S. households. While households with a traditional multichannel subscription are positioned to remain in the solid majority in the five-year outlook, upward momentum lies firmly with alternative services; the combined account for a non-multichannel tally is on pace to exceed one quarter of occupied households in 2017 and peak one third by 2021.

The outlook through 2021 features:

  • Accelerated declines of traditional multichannel subscriptions to 82.3 million, down 10.8 million households over five years.
  • The emergence of virtual services from a niche pioneered by SlingTV and Playstation Vue to a mainstream option that accounts for nearly 11 million households.
  • The growth of households relying solely on over-the-top delivery of self-aggregated online content to reach nearly 18 million or 14% of occupied households.

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