Strategy Analytics’ analysis of US pay-TV subscriber numbers shows Virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (vMVPDs) with 868,000 net adds in Q2 bringing the total number of vMVPD subscribers to 6.73 million, up 119 per cent YoY.
Despite this, overall pay-TV subscribers (cable, satellite, IPTV, vMVPD) fell to 93.78 million, breaking a string of two consecutive quarters of growth, according to a Strategy Analytics’ Television & Media Strategies report, which examined the subscriber bases of 27 public traded and private pay-TV operators, accounting for 97 per cent of all pay-TV subscriptions.
“While the entire vMVPD segment is growing, AT&T’s DirecTV NOW deserves special notice,” said Michael Goodman, Director, Television & Media Strategies, given how rapidly it has grown in a fairly short period of time. If it continues on its current growth trajectory it will overtake Sling TV as the largest vMVPD in early 2019.”
In comparison, Qq 2018 was not particularly kind to legacy pay-TV providers (e.g., cable, satellite, IPTV) as they lost nearly as many subscribers (-973,000) as the prior two quarters combined (-1.16 millio). In Q2 2018, total legacy pay-TV subscriptions fell to 87.05 million, down 3.6 per cent YoY.
“Historically, pay-TV in the US has consisted of cable, satellite, and IPTV; however, the introduction of over-the-top pay-TV services, commonly referred to as vMVPDs, necessitates a change in our thinking,” said Goodman. “What we have commonly referred to as pay-TV (cable, satellite, and IPTV) should now be referred to as legacy pay-TV, while the definition of pay-TV should include vMVPDs.”
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