Over the last few weeks many traditional pay TV services have reported subscriber loss after subscriber loss. At the same time, according to Deutsche Bank analyst Matthew Niknam, virtual pay TV services added around 900,000 subscribers during the same period.
DIRECTV NOW was the biggest winner with the addition of 296,000 new subscribers. Other services, such as Sling TV, Hulu, DIRECTV NOW, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue, split the other 604,000 subscribers according to Niknam.
It can be hard to estimate some of these numbers, but some services give us hints in their quarterly filings. Other services such as Sony’s PlayStation Vue are extremely careful to hide their subscriber numbers. Instead we rely on tidbits from sources close to the information; however, the 900,000 subscriber number is in line with what other services have said.
“Looking forward, our estimates imply sustained quarterly linear subscriber losses of [around 1 million users] in 2018 onwards, with OTT gains not enough to offset this,” Niknam said.
“The ongoing transition and mix shift from linear to OTT is a difficult one for AT&T to manage,” Niknam added.
Live TV streaming services will continue to grow but not fast enough to offset the decline of traditional pay TV.
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