The margins between households who subscribe to traditional TV and those opting to cut the cord continue to widen, according to new research from Parks Associates. The number of households adopting streaming services keeps growing, while pay-tv subscriptions continue to fall. This year, 82% of US broadband households subscribe to at least one OTT service, up six points year-over-year, while 58% subscribe to a traditional pay-TV service, down four points year-over-year.
The firm’s new Video Services Dashboard reports that the adoptions of streaming vMVPDs (platforms that deliver live, linear television over the internet) rose to 18% in Q1 2021, up 4 points. Many of those are “Cord Nevers,” meaning they have never subscribed to traditional linear TV. Additionally, one-quarter of U.S. broadband households have a subscription to a streaming service that offers a bundle of Live TV channels.
“The steady rise in online pay-TV adoption has made up for some of the significant drops in traditional pay TV,” said Steve Nason, Research Director, Parks Associates. “Video consumers are looking to online pay-TV services, either from a traditional provider or vMVPD, to offer a similar viewing experience and content offering to traditional pay TV but at a lower price point. However, online pay-TV providers, who don’t typically generate content on their own, have had trouble stabilizing subscriber costs as content fees continue to rise.”