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CTA: Streaming Video Subs Equal to Pay-TV

8 Mar, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel



There’s a reason multichannel video program distributors (MVPDs) such as Dish Network, Charter and DirecTV have launched online TV services.

The Consumer Technology Association March 8 released new data claiming the percentage of streaming video subscribers in the United States (68%) now equals the number of pay-TV subs (67%). Linear TV viewing has declined 11 percentage points since 2012.

The findings are from an online survey of 1,000 respondents conducted Oct. 21 to 28, 2016.

“More and more consumers are embracing the freedom of connectivity … to video content,” Steve Koenig, senior director of market research at CTA, said in a statement. “This is one of the driving trends of our time. Today’s advancement of technology delivers ‘content convenience’ that results in cultural changes such as binge-watching, second-screen behavior, content recommendations and the screens consumers use to consume video."

The CTA found that, on average, the amount of video consumers watch weekly is up 32% since 2001 (16.8 hours a week in 2016, from 12.7 hours in 2011) — or 3.2 hours daily.

Most consumers still learn about new content through traditional methods such as TV commercials (56%), word-of-mouth (54%) and Internet searches (32%). Yet, 20% of respondents cited nontraditional mediums such as online recommendations (23%), social media (21%) or radio, TV or podcast host recommendations (16%) as content discovery sources.

“We expect streaming subscribers to surpass paid TV services — and by a fair margin — in the next year or so,” Koenig said.

Separately, the study found that despite the fact 96% of American households own TVs (2.8 units per household), 4K Ultra HD TVs are among the industry’s fastest-growing segments. CTA projects shipments of 4K UHD displays to reach 15 million units in 2017 (up 51% from 2016) and earn $14.6 billion in revenue (up 38%). Sales of all TVs are expected to reach $19 billion in revenue in 2017, on par with last year.


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