44% of Streaming Television Subscribers are Cable Converts




woman on tablet

If you currently have a live television streaming service like YouTube TV, Sling TV, or Hulu with Live, there’s about a 50% chance you’re a cable convert.

According to a recent study from Leichtman Research Group, 44% of live TV streaming customers switched after canceling a big cable subscription. 26% of people who subscribe to one of these services still have cable, 18% of subscribers were formerly customers of a similar online service and 12% say they didn’t have pay TV at all before signing up.

What age demographic is signing up for this style of television? Mostly the younger generation. 18% of adults 18-44 have one of these services compared to just 9% of those aged 45 and above. And the 18-44 demo accounts for 65% of subscriptions.

So what does this study tell us? For one, most people who stream their live TV these days are former cable subscribers. And when you compare the average price of one of these products to a cable package, it makes a lot of sense. Two, it tells us that young people aren’t just content with video on demand, and they want live television. 

Some other interesting data points we found were:

  • 76% of subscribers are “very satisfied” with their service – up from 69% in 2018
  • Just 14% said they would probably switch services in the next six months – down from 27% in 2018
  • Over half of homes have their streaming service on at least three televisions
  • 42% of people with both a streaming TV and a cable TV package say they carry both simply to have more options while 15% say they have both because they have multiple people or multiple  TVs and 14% say they want channels only available from a certain source
  • 95% of subscribers also have an on-demand service like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu 

These numbers come from a study conducted earlier this year from 6,462 people. This is the third time LRG has conducted a study specifically about vMVPD (or virtual multichannel video programming distributors) customers. This year’s data actually holds pretty true to last year’s data, which means it’s probably pretty reliable.

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