According to findings from Decoding the Default, the annual study by Hub Entertainment Research which tracks the TV sources US consumers consider their go-to viewing platform, there is a continuing increase in multiple platform use and a steady move away from live TV as a default source.
Highlights from the study:
1) Multiple Platforms Proliferate: Consumers are using more sources for TV watching than ever before.
The average consumer has 4.5 different sources to choose from when they’re ready to watch TV, including linear TV, DVR, video on demand, Netflix, Hulu, etc. That number is up from 3.7 in 2014.
Among younger viewers age 18-34, the number of platforms is even higher (5.1 different sources).
As just one example, half (50 per cent) of 18-34 year-olds subscribe to two or more of the ‘big three’ SVoDs: Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon.
2) First Choice No Longer: With multiple sources at their disposal, only 39 per cent of viewers now say live, linear TV from a traditional pay-TV service is what they turn on first.
That’s down 8 points from just last year, when 47 per cent called live TV their viewing default.
Consumers are now more likely to turn first to an on-demand, time-shifted source of TV, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, a DVR, or pay-TV video on demand (48 per cent combined).
3) Live TV Down in Core Demos: Consumers who consider live TV their default has dropped significantly across the board, even among older viewers.
The majority (56 per cent) of viewers 55 and over still default to watching live. But one year ago, it was two-thirds (66 per cent).
Among those 18-34, only about a quarter (26 per cent) say that live TV is their default. One year ago, it was more than one-third (35 per cent).
“We’ve been watching live TV drop steadily as a default source since we first conducted this study in 2013,” said Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study. “But this is the first year where we’ve seen a sharp drop among older consumers too which has huge implications for the monetisation of linear TV in general. As online, on-demand platforms continue to become mainstream, live viewing has become the exception rather than the rule.”
According to the 360 Deep Dive: Alternative Content Consumption report, content such as livestreaming, user-generated content, short-form videos and web video series that are available via social networking, video-sharing or similar apps or sites is gaining traction.
For instance, nearly one-half of US broadband households watch user-generated content on a monthly basis, and more than 10% watch livestreamed content. Almost one-quarter of broadband households have posted videos to some type of content site or app within the last 30 days.
“Alternative video is an important part of the video landscape, and it competes with other video options for a share of consumer attention,” said Brett Sappington, senior director of research at Parks Associates. “Approximately one-half of households with a TV watch video from YouTube and similar sites on their TV set. In fact, more households watch online video from an app such as YouTube than watch video from a TV channel app.”
Parks Associates data about alternative content consumption shows that adoption of pay-TV declines as the frequency of user-generated content consumption increases. This correlation poses a future threat to pay-TV providers, the report found, as younger respondents are far more likely to watch user-generated content, which could potentially impact their future pay-TV habits and perspectives.
“Younger consumers are far more likely to create their own content as well as watch user-generated content,” Sappington said. “For these viewers, the creation of content is as much a part of the entertainment experience as is watching video. Increasingly, traditional content producers and service providers are leveraging alternative content, in order to connect with audiences and draw viewers. Some are partnering with individual web celebrities and influencers who often have a disproportionately large influence on the user-generated side of the alternative content space.”
The research also found that, at present, only 7% of US broadband households watch sporting events via livestream. And, consumers who view user-generated content are much more likely than those who never watch it to have an OTT service.
The news that viewers are switching away from conventional live TV is hardly new. But a report from equity analysts at Deutsche Bank, and prompted by a detailed examination of the main advertising catalysts for Europe’s main public broadcasters, shows alarming falls in viewing loyalty.
The report says that the costs of reaching these viewers is rising for advertisers and as a consequence the bank is recommending to investors that they “SELL” their stakes in French commercial broadcaster TF1, as well as Spain’s Mediaset and Atres Media (the former Grupo Antena 3/A3TV).
“Over the past two weeks we have conducted our quarterly discussions with eight representatives of advertising agencies responsible for buying TV advertising, and industry sources connected to sales houses. We speak to the local offices of the major agencies to get on-the-ground views. The major conclusions on ad spend on TV are that in the UK, late money has delivered surprisingly strongly, but in all other markets, spend has been less than the broadcasters’ guidance at 1Q results over April & May,” says the bank.
The consequences are quite dramatic. The declines have prompted Deutsche Bank to revise downwards its expectations for TF1 by 10 per cent-11 per cent, and 2 per cent-9 per cent for Mediaset Spain and Atres. German media giant RTL is trimmed by 1 percent, although a surge of advertising coming into ITV and Mediaset Italy has encouraged the bank to upgrade the pair by 3 per cent-4 per cent.
As to the decline in viewing linear TV, the bank says: “That we are watching more on-demand programming from tablets, mobiles and smart TVs, as well as PVRs, is well established. But the hard data across Europe is very partial and the measurement of on-demand viewing is inconsistent and partial. But we now have full data for 2017 viewing levels across all European markets from national measurement agencies & Group M. This shows that the linear viewing decline accelerated over 2017. Even in Germany, which has been relatively slow to adopt on-demand, saw viewing fall in 2017 for the first time. It also shows on-line is failing to offset live viewing declines.”
The bank adds that this shift to on-demand viewing means a consequential share loss for Euro broadcasters. “Compare a 5-30 channel home in a traditional DTT (Freeview/TNT) world with the almost unlimited content available on a mobile device, tablet or a broadband-connected “smart TV”, from YouTube, Amazon Video, Google Play, Vice News, Eurosport Player and national platforms like Daily Motion, Magine, Cofunk, Magine TV. Not all of these carry advertising, but many do. In this world, traditional broadcasters are clearly failing to replicate their share of TV advertising spend. We have shown this in prior TV Ad Monitors for all Euro TV groups, but we now have estimates based on our industry contacts for the latest UK online video ad share.”
More and more publishers are heading OTT, with WIRED announcing a TV channel. It will be free and ad-supported … a model which could also apply to Amazon in the near future: UK job ad indicates Amazon wants to bring TV advertising and free TV channels to Prime. The living room increasingly makes sense for capturing the attention of elusive Millennials and Gen Zers– check out this VAB study which found on average, in any given minute, the ad-supported multi-screen TV 18-34 audience is six times larger than Facebook and over two times larger than YouTube in the summer months.
Why are we so concerned with the Frenemies, anyway? Maybe it’s because they (Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat) are feeding us “behavioral cocaine,” disguised as notifications, in a bid for our limited hours of attention.
Given all the trade-offs, I believe the most likely scenario in the near term is an increasing divergence of strategies between brands.
Brands and influencers are excited about the potential for longer-form videos that can tell stories to Instagram’s 1 billion users. But traditional Hollywood making content for IGTV? Don’t count on it, because there’s no way to monetize the pricey programming they might make for the new app, especially when so many other outlets are willing to pay.
YouTube said it provide funding in about 20 global markets to support news organizations in “building sustainable video operations.” The grants will let new orgs build out video capabilities, train staff on video best practices, and enhance production facilities. YouTube says it also will expands the team focused on supporting news publishers.
Philo will use funds raised from its Series C to invest in new product features and enhancements — including a “social media TV experience,” according to Deadline — as well as to expand its marketing efforts. Philo’s other existing investors include A+E Networks and Scripps Networks, who participated in a $25 million round last November. Per Crunchbase, Philo has raised roughly $107 million in venture funding to date.
Mr. Stankey described a future in which HBO would substantially increase its subscriber base and the number of hours that viewers spend watching its shows. To pull it off, the network will have to come up with more content, transforming itself from a boutique operation, with a focus on its signature Sunday night lineup, into something bigger and broader.
Brands are only a small portion of the entire universe of YouTube videos, according to analysis by Tubular Labs, which tracks 4 billion online videos. In part that’s because of the sheer overwhelming scale of YouTube, where around 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute. It’s easy to feel lost there if you don’t have a smart video strategy to get your content seen.
As the new month ushered in, Wired Magazine launched its first streaming TV channel. This is the publisher’s response to the over-the-top (OTT) video environments increasingly becoming the norm.
Starting July 1, viewers can access Wired’s streaming channel on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Apple TV. The service will also be available on Roku beginning next week.
Condé Nast, Wired’s parent organization, had the streaming video channel already as part of its agenda for this year. The TV channel is one of a series and Wired is the first one of them.
Kimberly Kelleher, Condé Nast’s brand executive for Pitchfork, Wired Media Group, Golf Digest and GQ, revealed that Condé Nast views online streaming as an opportunity to reach more audience.
She affirmed that the publishing company is mindful of the people’s increasing usage of connected TV devices. In addition, the company understands that consumers nowadays prefer the on-demand TV experience. So in response, it introduced streaming video channels.
Bon Appétit, the culinary magazine, and GQ, the men’s magazine published monthly, will also have their streaming TV channels slated to be launched in 2019.
Wired’s streaming TV channel includes the most popular shows and videos from the magazine’s website and YouTube channel. Among these shows are “Technique Critique,” “Almost Impossible,” and “Autocomplete Interviews.”
As the publication celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, more TV shows and licensed films are lined up for its streaming TV channel.
Small and middle-tier streaming TV channels struggle with viewers who refuse to give them the time of day. This is due to the reality of an ocean of channels diminishing their probability of getting noticed. Roku alone is reported to offer over 5,000 channels on a wide array of categories.
Nonetheless, Alan Wolk, TVRev’s chief analyst, pointed out that Wired has the advantage of being a “solid brand.” He explained that the publisher does not have to contend with the dilemma of discoverability.
Wired is “fortunate that it’s a big enough name,” Wolk affirmed.
Kelleher is assured that Wired will be able to attract a lot of audiences and loyalty. Wired’s YouTube page is a testament to its success, boasting over 688 million video views every year and over 2.3 million subscribers.
Kelleher added that Wired met the requirements of connected TV platforms: trusted and high-grade brands and content attracting more viewers and help to build their image. Hence, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, and Roku, have all committed to advertising the streaming TV channel on their platforms.
Amazon has dropped a huge hint that it’s working on an ad-supported TV service, releasing a job posting looking for a ‘head of Prime Video channels, free to air TV and advertising TV partner channels’. The job description, spotted by Facebook’s director of gaming Damian Burns, gives us some initial clues of how an ad-supported TV service on Amazon might look.
The post describes one of the main responsibilities of the roles as developing Prime Video’s European strategy for free-to-air and advertising funded channels. It says whoever us hired will be required to work with broadcasters across Europe, translating their requirements into Amazon capabilities, and to act as an “internal champion” for free-to-air and ad funded content.
There are two possibilities for what exactly this could be referring to, but both would be a significant step into the video ad world for the e-commerce giant.
Amazon may be looking to develop an ad-supported, free-to-air version of Amazon Prime Video, with subscribers able to avoid the monthly subscription fee by watching ads instead. Currently, Prime Video only runs ads for other Amazon shows as pre-rolls or post-rolls, but the company runs targeted video ads elsewhere, meaning opening up ads on Prime Video to other brands shouldn’t be too difficult tech-wise.
Ad Age reported rumours that Amazon was developing this kind of service last November, though a company spokesman denied that this was the case.
Such a move would mark an acceleration of Amazon’s TV strategy, where premium content isn’t used primarily to make an Amazon Prime subscription (which includes free delivery and a variety of other benefits) more attractive to consumers.
Currently the vast majority of VOD services available through Amazon Prime Channels only offer ad-free, paid subscriptions, even when that service has a cheaper or free ad-supported subscription tier on its native platform. A few broadcasters have made live streams of their linear channels available through Prime Video in Europe, but these still come as part of paid memberships.
The introduction of free to air channels would suggest that at the very least some of these channels would be made available without paying an extra fee, and possibly without a Prime Video subscription too.
Regardless of the end product, it will be another big step into ad land for Amazon and in the UK market it will provide additional competition for the likes of Freeview, YouView and FreeSat, as well as to paid services like Sky and Virgin Media.
In its latest report on global advertising market trends, released June 18, 2018, MAGNA forecasts media owners’ net advertising revenues (NAR) to grow by +6.4% to $551 billion in 2018 in the 70 countries analyzed by MAGNA. That’s the strongest growth rate since 2010.
MAGNA increases its forecast for 2018 following strong market performance in the first few monthsg. +8% in the US in the first quarter, and +31% for Google and Facebook globally.
The 2018 growth (+6.4%) is an acceleration from 2017 (+4.5%), mostly due to the five billion dollars of incremental ad spend generated around cyclical events in 2018 (US Mid-Term elections, FIFA Football World Cup, Winter Olympics). Neutralizing cyclical revenues, the 2018 growth would be +5.5%, in line with 2017.
Global ad spend remains strong thanks to robust economies (US +6.4%, China +10%, Russia +12%, India +12.5%) and convalescent/recovering economies (Latin America +10%, Middle East +9%). Western Europe lags behind due to low economic growth and political uncertainty (+4.1%).
Digital advertising sales will grow by +15.6% in 2018 to reach $250 billion or 45% of global advertising revenues. Mobile ad sales reached half of total digital spend last year, and will increase to 62% of total digital spend this year. Digital will to represent half of the world’s total advertising sales by 2020.
In the US, advertising sales will grow by +6.4% in 2018 to reach an all-time high of $207 billion, including $4 billion dollars of incremental revenues from cyclical events. Excluding cyclical revenues, underlying growth this year will be 4.7% (similar to 2017).
US digital ad sales will grow by +15% this year to pass the $100 billion milestone (52% of total ad sales). Non-digital ad sales will shrink by -4.6%. National TV ad revenues will be flat while local TV will grow by +10%, OOH by +2%; print ad sales will decrease by -17% and linear radio by nearly -4%.
Next year (2019) will see a slower growth in the US: +2% in the absence of cyclical drivers, although core growth will also slow (+3.6%).
According to Vincent Létang, EVP, Global Market Intelligence at MAGNA and author of the report:
“Global Advertising Spending is going to expand by the strongest growth rate since 2010 this year, as several of the largest markets – including the US, Russia and China – experience robust economic growth. Many consumer packaged goods and automotive brands are freezing or cutting ad expenditure, which hurts the revenues of traditional media types, while digital media, used by millions of small and local advertisers, seems to be immune from slow-down so far. Linear television will enjoy modest growth in most markets however, as cyclical events bring incremental budgets and strong pricing (CPM inflation), offsetting shrinking volume (ratings decline).”
Globally, net media owners advertising revenues (NAR) are projected to grow by +6.4% in 2018, to $551 billion. This is above MAGNA’s previous forecast (+5.2% published December 2017) due to stronger-than-expected market performance year-to-date for digital media sales in particular. For instance, advertising spend grew by an impressive +8% in the US in the first quarter, while for Google and Facebook advertising revenues grew by +31% globally over the period, showing no sign of slow-down.
The major cyclical events taking place in 2018 (The FIFA World Cup in Russia, Mid-Term elections in the US, Winter Olympics in South Korea) will generate five billion dollars of incremental ad spend this year (two thirds of it in the US alone), thus contributing one percentage point to global ad growth. Excluding cyclical revenues, global underlying advertising growth would be +5.5% in 2018, i.e. level with 2017.
Global advertising demand remains strong in countries enjoying a robust economic environment (USA +6.4%, China +10%, Russia +12%, India +12.5%), and is recovering in convalescent/recovering economies (Latin America +10%, Middle East +9%). Western Europe is lagging behind due to low economic growth and political uncertainty, but double-digit digital growth and a minor boost from FIFA World Cup on European soil, will ensure moderate growth (+4.1%).
69 of the 70 ad market analyzed by MAGNA are expected to show some level of growth this year, with Singapore the only market forecast to shrink this year. The fastest-growing regions in 2018 will be Central & Eastern Europe (+9.2%) and Latin America (+9.6%), followed by Asia-Pacific (+6.9%) and North America (+6.3%).
Linear television ad revenues will grow again in 2018 (+3% to $185 billion), thanks to the return of even-year cyclical events, despite the continued, worldwide erosion of reach and ratings. Without the incremental even-year ad sales, TV would be just flat this year (+0.4% globally, -1.4% in the US).
The resilience of television is also caused by sustained demand from big consumer brands in CPG/FMCG sectors (food, drinks, personal care and household goods), media/entertainment, restaurant chains and pharmacy (where allowed). Because some marketers are concerned about brand safety and ROI accountability in digital environments, many brands have paused the long-term diversification of their media mix towards digital formats and have instead remained loyal to traditional linear television in the last 18 months.
That sustained demand for TV inventory, combined with declining supply (ratings) is driving high CPM cost inflation (ranging +5% to +15% in key markets while economic inflation remains below 2%). Strong TV pricing, however, is barely offsetting declining volumes resulting in flat revenues for broadcasters in the France, UK, Italy, Japan and the US (excluding cyclical ad spend).
Television is evolving too. “Advanced television” advertising techniques are gaining momentum in markets like the US and the UK. That includes live linear targeted ad substitution (household-addressable campaigns), on-demand TV content on television sets, and more generally the ability to buy qualified audiences (auto intenders, families with babies or pets…) with less wastage and better engagement, compared to traditional age/gender targeting. Most “advanced” TV campaigns these days are based on cable or satellite subscription and managed through set-top boxes, but the ubiquity of “smart” connectable TVs and over-the-top (OTT) devices creates the opportunity to target all TV viewers, including “cord cutters”, on the big screen around “safe” television content, through on-demand or linear consumption. Companies like Samsung, Roku, and others compete to provide the operating systems of television sets and offer “advanced” targeted advertising solutions to marketers.
Global Digital advertising sales (display, video, search, social) will grow by +15% this year, to $250 billion, slowing only slightly from 2017 (+18%), while offline ad sales (linear television, print, broadcast radio, out-of-home) will decrease by -0.2% to $300 billion. Digital media sales will represent 45% of total ad sales by the end of 2018 and MAGNA anticipates that it will reach 50% of global ad dollars by 2020. It will reach that milestone this year in the US, while the market share of digital media sales is already beyond 60% in markets like the UK or Sweden.
Digital ad spend will continue to be driven by Social (+31%) and Video (+27%) formats this year. Search will grow by +14% to $47 billion and remains the largest ad format.
Despite the scale reached by digital media spend and the controversies that hit some of the media owners in the first half of 2018, digital ad spend has showed no signs of slow-down yet. The combined advertising revenues of Facebook and Google grew by +31% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2018. Nevertheless MAGNA does anticipate a mild slow-down in the second half of the year but so far, spending from small, local, direct advertisers – often re-allocated from below-the-line marketing channels (direct mail, yellow pages) – continues to grow quickly, offsetting any slow-down in the spending from brand advertisers.
The majority of digital ad sales (62%) is now generated by impressions and clicks on mobile devices (mostly smartphones). Mobile ad sales will grow by +30% in 2018 while desktop-based ad revenues will shrink (-2%), due to ad blocking and the rapid shift of digital media consumption towards smartphones and away from computers.
Other media categories will struggle to various degrees this year as they don’t benefit from the pricing power and cyclical drivers of national television. Global Print NAR will decrease by -11% to $54 billion. Radio ad sales will decrease by -2% to 28 billion. This reflects legacy ad sales only(paper, linear broadcast spots). When and where we add an estimate of the digital advertising sales of publishers and radio broadcasters or audio pure-players, it mitigates but doesn’t offset the revenue decline. This is because online display pricing is poor and music streaming is moving towards a premium ad-free model, limiting ad inventory. Podcasting is mostly ad-supported and becoming increasingly popular; it has the potential to rejuvenate the audio media industry, in combination with the rise of voice-activated smart speakers. Just like the television industry did, the audio media industry needs to develop an on-demand leg to balance the linear leg.
The only “traditional” media category to show moderate growth in 2018 will be Out-Of-Home. Global NAR is forecast to grow by +3.4% to $33.5 billion. OOH does benefit from cyclical events but the main driver remains the roll out of digital OOH inventory. DOOH NAR will grow by +16% this year to reach $5.7 billion as new airports, malls and transport system become available for media buying this year. For instance the “old” DOOH system in the London underground is about to be upgraded and expanded, and thousands of screens are to be rolled out in the New York Subway.
Channel 4 has announced it’s become the first UK broadcaster to partner with Google’s voice control platform Google Assistant. The integration will mean owners of a Google Home or Google Home Mini device will be able to use the assistant to control Channel 4’s on-demand hub All 4, via Chromecast.
The broadcaster claims users will be able to give commands such as “OK Google, play Googlebox on All 4,” and the Google Assistant will be able to directly load up the All 4 app and the series. Channel 4 made All 4 available on Chromecast back in 2015, and Chromecast has been compatible with Chromecast since last year, but is seeking out new deals with Chromecast’s existing partners to join the dots and make their services compatible with Google Assistant.
The new partnership demonstrates the fine line broadcasters like Channel 4 have to tread between facing up to Google’s threat as a competitor for ad spend, while also partnering with the tech giant where it’s beneficial to do so. Channel 4 has been one of the more active UK broadcasters in joining TV cooperatives designed to counter the digital threat, such as the European Broadcaster Exchange, and struck a direct blow against Google earlier this year as it won a BT Sport advertising contract previously held by Google.
“We have a great track record in partnering with platforms on new innovations, so we’re really excited to be able to launch our first major voice integration with Google, enabling viewers to watch Channel 4 shows quickly on their big screens at homes” said Carl Pfeiffer, head of distribution and platform partnerships at Channel 4.
“We are delighted that Channel 4 viewers in the UK will be able to easily access their favourite TV programmes using simple voice commands. One of the joys of Google Home is to assist in making life’s tasks easier, simpler and more fun for everyone,” said Edward Kenney, head of UK product partnerships at Google Home.
We might expect more partnerships for the Google Assistant to be launched over the coming year as it competes for dominance with Amazon’s Alexa. Just earlier this week, Google announced a partnership with French supermarket Carrefour which will see the two work together on a new “a new grocery shopping experience”.
To make linear TV more compelling, programmers must cut ad loads and boost relevancy. Can this be done in a way that scales to television-sized audiences? A team of industry experts thinks it can happen before the 2024 Olympics in Japan.
There are just too many ads on TV
According to Randy Freer, CEO of Hulu, television programmers simply don’t value the viewers time enough:
“We overloaded the formats; we overloaded the commercial messages going to consumers. So, they started to say, ‘this is too much…my time is more valuable than that.’ As an industry, I don’t think we value people’s time in a way that allowed them to say ‘I get this, there’s a transaction. I’m not paying as much as I could be paying because my entertainment experiences are being supported by advertising.”
Signs are that television can get the balance right between ads and content. For example, though Hulu offers an ad-free option for $4 more per month most people don’t take it. Moreover, Hulu’s engagement is the highest in the industry. Video streamers watch 29 hours on Hulu per month versus 27 hours for the ad-free Netflix experience.
The key to a more competitive experience is reducing the ad load and delivering ads that are relevant to the user. Programmatic ad selling and server-side ad insertion are key technologies enabling the addressable future of TV advertising. However, delivering targeted ads to tens-of-millions of viewers in real-time is still very challenging. Can the issues be resolved?
According to three experts in video streaming and live ad insertion, the future is bright for live ad-supported television. At Go-Live, an invite-only event to discuss the challenges facing live video advertising, representatives from Yospace, Akamai, and SpotX struck a positive note for the future. I asked where we would be with live and linear ad-supported video six-years from today, in 2024. Here is what each had to say.
Universal ad ID underpins ad workflow
David Springall, CTO of Yospace, sees automation of the buying, selling, and playout of video ads as key to future of live and linear video. By 2024, he thinks it will all be in place:
“It seems logical to me that all advertising sales will be automated by then. There’s going to be the use of computationally intensive technologies like blockchain to give purchasers better protection against fraud which further cements the need for pre-fetch at any real scale. Ad copy management workflows will be made more secure. It is going to be handled in the same way that it is handled on broadcast, through a trusted chain of custody which is consistent throughout the industry. In other words, trafficking ads by a universal ID rather than some arbitrary URL.”
Addressable delivers increased ad value
Kevin Schaum, Senior Director of Advanced Solutions Group at SpotX, struck an optimistic note. He believes the industry will be at full addressability by 2024, and that it will deliver the needed revenue lift:
“The idea of addressability for everybody is a reality. Where there are personalized ads and the media owners, and broadcasters get higher rates because of that. I hope that in the next six years we can work through a lot of the challenges. I believe we are going to get there.”
Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) found that the largest pay-TV providers in the U.S. – representing about 95% of the market – lost about 305,000 net video subscribers in 1Q 2018, compared to a pro forma loss of about 515,000 subscribers in 1Q 2017.
The top pay-TV providers now account for about 91.9 million subscribers – with the top six cable companies having 47.8 million video subscribers, satellite TV services 31.1 million subscribers, the top telephone companies 9.2 million subscribers, and the top Internet-delivered pay-TV services 3.8 million subscribers.
Key findings for the quarter include:
The top six cable companies lost about 285,000 video subscribers in 1Q 2018 – compared to a loss about 115,000 subscribers in 1Q 2017. Satellite TV services lost about 375,000 subscribers in 1Q 2018 – compared to a loss of about 340,000 subscribers in 1Q 2017. The top telephone providers lost about 50,000 video subscribers in 1Q 2018 – compared to a loss of 325,000 subscribers in 1Q 2017.
Net losses for the top Telcos in 1Q 2018 were the fewest in any quarter since 3Q 2015
AT&T U-verse did not report net video losses for the first time since 1Q 2015
Internet-delivered services (Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW) added about 405,000 subscribers in 1Q 2018 – compared to about 265,000 net adds in 1Q 2017
Traditional pay-TV services (not including Internet-delivered services) lost about 710,000 subscribers in 1Q 2018 – compared to a loss of about 780,000 in 1Q 2017
“The number of pay-TV subscribers for the top providers peaked six years ago. Since 1Q 2012, top providers have lost about 3.4 million total pay-TV subscribers,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “Since the industry’s peak, traditional services have lost about 7.2 million subscribers, while the top publicly reporting Internet-delivered services gained about 3.8 million subscribers.”