Pay-TV Subscriptions are Falling, Falling, Falling

To misquote a legend: Is this the end, my friend?

Pay-TV Subs to Drop by 10 Million Viewers by 2021
by Daniel Frankel

S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Kagan is the latest research company to come out with bearish subscriber-growth projections for the traditional pay TV industry, predicting that U.S. cable, satellite and IPTV operators will lose another 10.8 million customers by 2021.

The total U.S. pay TV subscriber base will stand at only 82.3 million at that time, off about 20% from its peak.

Concurrently, Kagan predicts virtual services such as Sling TV and Sony PlayStation Vue to evolve into “mainstream” consumer choices and garner around 11 million users collectively by 2021.

Households relying entirely on aggregated over-the-top video choices, meanwhile, will grow to 18 million, Kagan predicts, accounting for 14% of households.

“Changing viewing habits point to mounting losses for traditional video services, and challengers are lining up to capitalize,” said Ian Olgeirson, research director for 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.”

After shedding more than 700,000 subscribers in the first quarter, the pay TV industry could post collective losses of more than 1 million linear customers in the second quarter, UBS analyst John Hodulik told investors earlier this month….

Read it all at Fierce Cable