U.S. pay TV providers lost 305K subs in Q1, 2018

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.”

TV Set Becoming Favorite Device for Video Streamers

People who stream TV content now prefer to watch it on TV sets instead of personal computers, according to a new report from Conviva.

The report, The Secret Life of Streamers Part II, found that during primetime, between 9 and 10 p.m., connected TV sets accounted for 48% of the episodic video plays in 2017, up from 35% during the 2016 survey.

The share for personal computers has plunged to 19% in 2017 from 39% in 2016.

“Conviva has a unique census-level data set capturing detailed viewing habits of billions of streaming video applications and devices across the globe,” said digital media analyst Colin Dixon of nScreen Media, researcher and author of the report. “Our most recent analysis shows connected TV dominating all devices 24/7, with plays increasing 75%, highlighting the rise of this platform at the expense of other screens.

“The transition from traditional television to streaming television has become more prominent, and viewers are binge-watching multiple shows via connected TV during primetime,” Dixon added.

The Secret Life of Streamers Part II follows a similar study done in 2016. That report noted a lunchtime bump in PC usage during lunchtime.

“The data strongly suggested people were catching up with their favorite shows on their PC while they ate their lunch,” Conviva’s new report said. “The lunchtime bump is still there. Plays at noon are 20% higher than for the average hour. However, this is lower than last year, where the lunchtime peak was 29% higher.

Some of the lunchtime viewings appear to have transferred to the smartphone, the report added. Last year, episodic plays from a smartphone in the noon hour were only 8% above average. This year the difference has increased to 19%.

Conviva also found that the average viewing session on connected TVs, 77 minutes, is twice the amount of time viewers spend watching streaming video on personal computers and mobile devices.

read more here: multichannel.com

Consumers Are Now More Likely to View Ads Online Than on TV

GroupM unveiled its 2018 “State of the Digital” report, which predicts where people worldwide are expected to consume content in the coming year. And for the first time, the WPP network sees online surpassing every other vertical—linear TV, print and radio—in terms of where people will choose to spend their time with media.

The study, when weighted by expenditure, estimates that consumers will spend an average of 9.73 hours per day with personal media in 2018, up from 9.68 hours in 2017. GroupM predicts online to take a 38 percent share of total time spent with media; for the first time, linear TV trails behind and is expected to end the year with a 37 percent share. The group predicts radio and print to then take 18 percent and 7 percent shares, respectively.

Last year, linear TV held a 38 percent share over online’s 36 percent.

GroupM noted in the report that it wasn’t able to accurately measure TV’s online distribution, so those numbers were “lost in that online aggregate.”

The report likened the rise of digital ad expenditures to that of global e-commerce spend, which it also sees jumping considerably in 2018. Based off the 35 countries that supplied e-commerce totals for this study, GroupM predicts the dollars spent online to climb 15 percent to $2.4 billion in 2018 from $2.1 billion last year.

This is also the first time GroupM predicts e-commerce shopping to “grow notably faster” than Internet usership, which is estimated to climb 4 percent in 2018, compared to 6 percent in 2017.

Across the 35 reporting countries, the network estimates 47 percent of all online display investment to be transacted programmatically in 2018, from 44 percent in 2017 and just 31 percent in 2016.

GroupM’s research also touched on which of the hot-button issues around emerging tech are really top of mind for marketers, according to employees surveyed within its WPP network. For example, respondents described blockchain as a “slow, clunky and expensive” tool they don’t see as practical just yet.

“Blockchain’s main attraction is its distributed ledger, which tells everyone everything and thus presents the opportunity to reduce inefficiency or cheating,” Adam Smith, GroupM Futures director, said in a statement. “However, its Achilles’ heel is the need to keep every participating computer updated with everything all the time, and that’s too slow for a real-time world.”

The study’s respondents within GroupM reported improved development around AI and data use, although they admitted the need for further improvement on the latter. Those respondents brushed off the threat of clients in-housing their work, saying that it’s “more often talked about than done.” GroupM employees surveyed “reported [more] hybrid arrangements” than full in-house operations, “with clients often happy to take on strategy but leave risky and expensive execution to agencies.”

Clients are hiring more digital staff in-house and leaning more on specialist agencies than generalists, according to the study.

In a statement, GroupM global CEO Kelly Clark listed automation and talent as the “big themes in advertising’s current revolution.”

“One of the downsides of specialization is the increase in specialists who know more and more about less and less,” Clark said in the statement. “We have to use automation to liberate brand power so talented people can look across the entire media ecosystem to help clients optimize short-term results and create long-term value.”

read more here: adweek.com

Three reasons every major TV Station will launch a DTC service

CBS has done it, Disney is doing it, and Discovery is thinking about it. Launching direct-to-consumer services is the new wave of television. Here are three reasons why every major TV programmer will take the DTC plunge.

Discovery CEO David Zaslav is a man on a mission to maximize the value of the massive library of content his company controls. He has pay TV distribution and TV Everywhere delivery covered. Now he is turning his attention to online delivery with direct-to-consumer (DTC) services. He is testing the waters through Amazon Channels in Europe with the Eurosport and Discovery brands. He is also expanding the Motor Trend brand to worldwide online delivery.

Mr. Zaslav is not the only TV executive looking at DTC delivery. Here are three reasons every TV programmer will likely launch a direct-to-consumer service in the coming months and years.

Reason #1: Audience segmentation

All viewers are not created equal, yet that is how traditional television treats them. Some viewers are passionately devoted to a channel brand or show delivered by that channel. Others have only a casual relationship with a channel. Linear television delivery and pay TV treats these two types of viewers the same.

Direct-to-customer apps allow a content provider to segment viewers and, most importantly, identify the most committed customers. Les Moonves, CBS chairman, understands the principal and is beginning to monetize the opportunity. Two million of CBS’s most committed fans are paying $5.99 a month to subscribe to CBS All Access. Many are paying $8 a month because $2 of their pay TV subscription goes to CBS for almost the same set of content. CBS is also allowing these most valuable viewers an opportunity to spend more. For example, All Access subscribers can pay $4 extra to watch on-demand shows without ads.

Simply put, a DTC service allows a programmer to identify their best customers and upsell them to additional content and services.

Reason #2: Flexibility

Mr. Zaslav has two of the three main distribution outlets covered. Discovery and Scripps content is a mainstay of traditional pay TV service. vMVPDs like Sling TV and DirecTV Now already offer Scripps content, but Discovery channels are only available in the newest entrant, Philo. Mr. Zaslav is working to correct that.

Discovery also has a robust suite of TV Everywhere Go apps available. Pay TV customers can watch the live channels and a library of on-demand content but must sign in with their pay TV credentials to watch. These channels are delivering a sizable millennial audience according to Mr. Zaslav:

“They deliver a meaningful millennial audience that we get to sell to you, and the length of view is often two or three times that of traditional TV.”

Unfortunately, younger viewers are leading the cord-cutting trend. The 9% of the U.S. population that has never had pay TV (cord-nevers) has an average age of 34, according to GfK. Since many young people rely entirely on internet resources for video, the cord-nevers group is liable to grow quickly. In other words, TV programmers risk completely missing their future audience. Launching a DTC service gives Discovery a tool to reach those younger viewers as they continue to lead a pay TV-free existence.

Reason #3: Provide the experience viewers expect

To be sure, compelling content is critical to holding a viewer’s attention. According to Paywizard, however, the experience is equally important. In a recent survey, the company found that 79% of U.S. survey participants thought that experience factors were as important as content. Issues such as flexibility, attention to customer preferences, billing, sign-up, and cancellation are examples of these factors.

read more here: nscreenmedia.com

Global pay-TV revenues ready to plunge

After peaking in 2016 at $205 billion, and despite the number of pay-TV subscribers projected to rise by 9% over the next five years, global pay-TV revenues are set to fall by 11% to $183 billion by 2023, says a report from Digital TV Research.

The Global Pay-TV Revenue Forecasts report says that the key driver for the decline in revenues per subscriber is due to more homes converting to bundles. It estimates that eight of the top ten countries will lose pay-TV revenues between 2017 and 2023, while revenues will decline in 47 of the 138 countries covered in the report between 2017 and 2023. Twelve countries are set to lose more than 10% of their revenues leading to a total global decline of $19 billion.

Looking at specific territories, Digital TV Research found that US pay-TV revenues peaked in 2015, at $102 billion and forecasts a $22 billion decline between 2017 and 2023 to take its total down to $75 billion. By contrast, China will gain nearly $1 billion in pay-TV revenues between 2017 and 2023 to bring its total to $13 billion while India will provide the largest increase in pay-TV revenues at $1.6 billion. Revenues will more than double for six countries between 2017 and 2023. Eight of the top ten fast-growth nations by percentage increase will be in Africa.

On platforms, Digital TV Research believes that satellite TV and digital cable TV revenues will continue to be broadly similar. Revenues for the former were $83 billion in 2017; falling to $77 billion by 2023 and digital cable TV is set to supply $76 billion in 2023; down from $85 billion in 2023. The Global Pay-TV Revenue Forecasts report rates IPTV as the pay-TV revenue winner, with revenues increasing from $25 billion in 2017 to $27 billion in 2023.

US TV AD SPENDING TO FALL IN 2018

DIGITAL VIDEO CONTINUES DOUBLE-DIGIT GROWTH; OTT SPEND RISES
TV ad spending will continue its decline this year, according to eMarketer’s latest US advertising forecast.

With cord-cutting accelerating and over-the-top (OTT) viewing on the rise, outlays on TV ads will slip 0.5% in 2018 to $69.87 billion. As a result, TV’s share of total US media ad expenditures will drop from 33.9% in 2017 to 31.6% this year.

TV ad spending will see a slight uptick in 2020 (due to the US presidential election and Summer Olympics in Tokyo), but it will sink back to negative territory in the following years and fall to less than a quarter of total ad spend by 2022.

“The shift of audiences to OTT viewing is changing the climate of the TV ad market,” said eMarketer senior forecasting director Monica Peart. “As ratings for TV programming continue to decline, advertiser spending will also continue to see declines, especially in years that do not boast major events such as presidential elections and Olympic games.”

Meanwhile, total digital ad spending in the US will climb 18.7% this year to $107.30 billion. OTT platforms, which have a small but growing share of the market, will continue to play an important role. This year, Roku’s US ad revenues—mostly video but including some other display formats as well—will surpass $293 million, up 93.0% over 2017. And Hulu’s US ad revenues will increase by more than 13% to reach $1.12 billion. Overall Hulu’s ad business is increasing as well as the company revenue from subscriptions.

“Over-the-top platforms are growing in number and size, and many compete directly with pay TV by offering bundles of live channels at attractive price points,” said eMarketer principal analyst Paul Verna. “Consumers who want to cut or shave the cord now have a wealth of options that didn’t exist a couple of years ago. And we expect the offerings to become even more robust as more players enter the market.”

read more here: emarketer.com

Why I left Fox News

By Ralph Peters

You could measure the decline of Fox News by the drop in the quality of guests waiting in the green room. A year and a half ago, you might have heard George Will discussing policy with a senator while a former Cabinet member listened in. Today, you would meet a Republican commissar with a steakhouse waistline and an eager young woman wearing too little fabric and too much makeup, immersed in memorizing her talking points.

This wasn’t a case of the rats leaving a sinking ship. The best sailors were driven overboard by the rodents.

As I wrote in an internal Fox memo, leaked and widely disseminated, I declined to renew my contract as Fox News’s strategic analyst because of the network’s propagandizing for the Trump administration. Today’s Fox prime-time lineup preaches paranoia, attacking processes and institutions vital to our republic and challenging the rule of law.

Four decades ago, as a U.S. Army second lieutenant, I took an oath to “support and defend the Constitution.” In moral and ethical terms, that oath never expires. As Fox’s assault on our constitutional order intensified, spearheaded by its after-dinner demagogues, I had no choice but to leave.

My error was waiting so long to walk away. The chance to speak to millions of Americans is seductive, and, with the infinite human capacity for self-delusion, I rationalized that I could make a difference by remaining at Fox and speaking honestly.

I was wrong.

As early as the fall of 2016, and especially as doubts mounted about the new Trump administration’s national security vulnerabilities, I increasingly was blocked from speaking on the issues about which I could offer real expertise: Russian affairs and our intelligence community. I did not hide my views at Fox and, as word spread that I would not unswervingly support President Trump and, worse, that I believed an investigation into Russian interference was essential to our national security, I was excluded from segments that touched on Vladimir Putin’s possible influence on an American president, his campaign or his administration.

I was the one person on the Fox payroll who, trained in Russian studies and the Russian language, had been face to face with Russian intelligence officers in the Kremlin and in far-flung provinces. I have traveled widely in and written extensively about the region. Yet I could only rarely and briefly comment on the paramount security question of our time: whether Putin and his security services ensnared the man who would become our president. Trump’s behavior patterns and evident weaknesses (financial entanglements, lack of self-control and sense of sexual entitlement) would have made him an ideal blackmail target — and the Russian security apparatus plays a long game.

As indictments piled up, though, I could not even discuss the mechanics of how the Russians work on either Fox News or Fox Business. (Asked by a Washington Post editor for a comment, Fox’s public relations department sent this statement: “There is no truth to the notion that Ralph Peters was ‘blocked’ from appearing on the network to talk about the major headlines, including discussing Russia, North Korea and even gun control recently. In fact, he appeared across both networks multiple times in just the past three weeks.”)

All Americans, whatever their politics, should want to know, with certainty, whether a hostile power has our president and those close to him in thrall. This isn’t about party but about our security at the most profound level. Every so often, I could work in a comment on the air, but even the best-disposed hosts were wary of transgressing the party line.

Fox never tried to put words in my mouth, nor was I told explicitly that I was taboo on Trump-Putin matters. I simply was no longer called on for topics central to my expertise. I was relegated to Groundhog Day analysis of North Korea and the Middle East, or to Russia-related news that didn’t touch the administration. Listening to political hacks with no knowledge of things Russian tell the vast Fox audience that the special counsel’s investigation was a “witch hunt,” while I could not respond, became too much to bear. There is indeed a witch hunt, and it’s led by Fox against Robert Mueller.

read more here: washingtonpost.com

Reality Fuels Golden Age of Documentaries

You’re on the couch. It’s been a long day. The remote control is in your hand. What can you watch?

There’s that new CNN documentary series on the pope. Or maybe you’re more in the mood for some sinners in “Girls Incarcerated” on Netflix? There are cute critters on Hulu’s “March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step” or you could watch former slugger David Ortiz as he figures out his next career step on Fusion.

Keep scrolling? Sure. What about a new three-part documentary about Silicon Valley on Science? Or the series about gangsters on Reelz? How about the A&E series on adults returning to high school in “Undercover High”? What about some David Bowie or Elvis on HBO?

If you’re looking for documentaries these days, they’re hard to miss. Once considered more medicinal than entertaining and consigned to high-brow places like PBS and art house theaters, documentaries are scattered across the film and TV spectrum, as well as online portals like Facebook Watch or YouTube Red and on video streaming apps like go90. Even mighty NBC is getting in on the act with a documentary on Martin Luther King Jr. airing Saturday night.
“It feels like the golden age of documentary right now,” says Josh Koury, a professor at Pratt Institute and a documentary filmmaker. “It’s an amazing time to be making documentary stories.”

Starz, which last fall began offering new documentaries for the first time, has doubled down by adding four original docuseries to its summer schedule, exploring everything from the criminal justice system to the legacy of hip-hop.

Jeffrey Hirsch, chief operating officer for Starz, says the boom owes a large part to technology, which has allowed filmmakers access to relatively inexpensive high-quality cameras and editing equipment. What has emerged for content-hungry platforms is often a cheaper alternative to scripted films and series.

“The cost of creating these stories has come down, I think. The ability to travel and to actually be your own investigative journalist has become possible. And the world has gotten smaller through technology,” he said. “So I think the opportunity to relive or retell some of these stories has become a lot more accessible.”

Showtime also has increased its output of documentaries, said Vinnie Malhotra, head of documentary programming for the network. He marvels at how much the landscape has changed from 15 years ago when docs were independently financed and had limited releases.

“There are more outlets for documentary than there ever have been before,” he said. “There’s a lot of money being fueled into the documentary industry from newer platforms that have emerged with interest in the form of storytelling — places like Netflix, places like Amazon, other streaming and tech companies.”
No wonder recent documentaries have lately found themselves at the center of popular culture, including Ava DuVernay’s “13” on the American prison system, the Oscar-winning “O.J.: Made in America,” ″The Jinx” about Robert Durst, and “Blackfish,” for treatment of orcas. Netflix scored its first Oscar this year with the documentary “Icarus.”

Award-winning filmmaker Darren Aronofsky has been lured to the genre, executive producing National Geographic’s 10-episode “One Strange Rock” about planet Earth — and he’s brought Will Smith along to narrate.

The lure of documentary-making has also recently attracted Judd Apatow, known for scripted comedies like “Knocked Up” and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.” Said Apatow: “I’ve probably wanted to make one for a very long time but didn’t know how to approach it.”

In 2016, he teamed up with Michael Bonfiglio on “Doc & Darryl” for ESPN’s “30 for 30″ series and last year’s “May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers” on HBO. This month he’s on his own with a four-hour HBO documentary about Garry Shandling.

“I’m endlessly fascinated by how we all deal with this life. Sometimes it’s fun to write about it but lately I seem much more interested in trying to capture how different people have chosen to live,” Apatow said.

“We’re in an amazing environment where, as a result of all these streaming services and cable stations, they desperately want great documentaries,” he added. “Now we’re getting incredible documentaries. I couldn’t be happier about it.”

Many thank Sheila Nevins for bringing documentaries into mainstream popular culture during her 38-year tenure at HBO. It was Nevins, president of HBO Documentary Films from 2004 until this year, who shook up the staid format — usually nature shows or archive footage explained by experts — with such lurid shows as “Taxicab Confessions” and “Real Sex.”

“When I arrived at HBO, docs were considered a high-brow thing. That never interested me. I didn’t care about the life of the university professor. I care about his doorman,” she says.

Under Nevins’ watch, HBO pumped out more than 1,200 documentaries, most recently with such films as the Scientology investigation “Going Clear” and the Oscar-winning “Citizenfour,” about Edward Snowden. HBO once tried to hide its offerings as “docutainment.” Now it proudly has a documentary tab on its home page.

read more here: tvnewscheck.com

Why It’s Time To Stop Treating OTT And TV As Different Channels

by Allen Klosowski

My parents have seen a lot of technology come and go during their lifetimes. When they were young, television was in its infancy, limited to black-and-white images on a small, dimly lit screen. Today, they have not one, but two high-definition televisions side by side in their living room: One is a traditional cable television set and the other is a Roku TV.

My parents don’t care that one TV receives programming through a cable box while the other streams video through the Roku app and other smart-TV apps. They like to be in the same room together, and this setup avoids the need for compromise; my dad watches sports silently with closed captioning and my mom keeps up on her favorite shows at the same time.

If you switched on the same show on both TVs, you wouldn’t be able to discern which was which because the image quality and viewing experience are identical.

While this story is unique to my family, it’s representative of the larger reality that the lines between television and over-the-top (OTT) video are becoming blurred. Consumers don’t dwell on how some televisions have internet capabilities and others do not. The only relevant factor is whether they can access their desired content at a satisfactory level of quality. Once that need is met, OTT, traditional TV and everything in between become insignificant distinctions in the minds of most consumers. All in all, it’s just “TV.”

OTT origins

Was OTT video streaming spurred by the first smart TVs in the late ’90s and early 2000s? Or maybe Netflix’s rollout of streaming video in 2007? Whatever beginning point you choose, one pattern holds true: Early users of OTT sought a different experience than traditional television. Audiences wanted greater control over the specific content they consumed, and they wanted to watch it on their own time.

A decade later, however, the definition of OTT video has significantly evolved and broadened to include features and capabilities that weren’t in the picture early on. Consumers who leverage over-the-top video have undergone a parallel transformation, and the user base today looks very different than it did years ago. These factors are evidence of ongoing progress that should continue to shape the way video is packaged, supplied and monetized for years to come.

In the early days, over-the-top video and video-on-demand (VOD) were often one and the same, so it was acceptable to use terms like OTT and VOD synonymously. On the other hand, OTT and linear TV described entirely different experiences. OTT represented a limited selection of video streamed to televisions or computers over the internet, unbound by dayparts or bundles.

Television viewing was subject to network scheduling, but a wide variety of content was available, including live events such as sports and newscasts. Moreover, the experience available in OTT fell short of the premium standard that had been set by traditional television – navigation was clunky, user interfaces were not well-suited to the available devices and buffering was a constant annoyance.

Due to these discrepancies, early OTT was mostly seen as a supplement to regularly scheduled programming. While it was clearly a disruptive innovation that quickly established staying power, it wasn’t regarded as an acceptable alternative to TV.

Today’s OTT

Over the last several years, however, OTT has advanced to the point that it rivals traditional television. Live, broadcast-quality video can be streamed over the internet and viewed in an uncluttered, lean-back environment where viewers are in complete control of what they watch and when.

Many media owners have also upskilled in video streaming, bringing a greater variety of content into the space. Leading broadcasters have developed TV Everywhere applications to make their original content available in OTT environments, and pioneers like DirectTV Now, fuboTV, Hulu and SlingTV have even brought live and linear programming into the mix. Viewers can now enjoy a comparable experience regardless of whether they’re accessing content over-the-top or through traditional channels.

The natural upgrade cycle for video viewing technology has also driven “passive adoption” of OTT. Many consumers buying smart TVs are not necessarily doing so on purpose, but brand-new televisions are often equipped with internet capabilities by default. In these cases, OTT adoption isn’t a conscious choice, but rather a natural evolution and simply a sign of the times.

Cord cutters, cord shavers and cord nevers have all made their content consumption decisions for very different reasons than the early adopters of OTT, and the audience has broadened as a result. Now, the delivery method of choice is less about what the technology represents – innovation, modernity, being ahead of the curve – and more about the experience it can deliver. From a consumer perspective, over-the-top is not a new category but rather the next evolution of how TV can be enjoyed.

read more here: adexchanger.com

YouTube TV rockets to top of vMVPD list in 2017

YouTube has been spending big to promote its vMVPD service. According to the latest data from TiVo, the service was used by 9% of consumers in Q4 2017. That would make it more than twice as big as its biggest rival.

YouTube TV ad blitz working

YouTube TV has been on an ad blitz for the last several months. The service was a very visible sponsor of Baseball’s World Series, spent big on other TV ad campaigns, and is doing more of the same this year. It is also advertising extensively to regular YouTube users. According to TiVo’s new Q4 2017 Video Trends Report data, the marketing spending is paying off.

TiVo added YouTube TV to the quarterly survey for the first time in Q4 2017. An amazing 9% say they use the service. The next nearest service, DirectTV Now, has less than half of YouTube TV’s total, and Sling TV has less than a third. We should perhaps treat the YouTube TV number cautiously. It is possible some survey respondents confused YouTube TV with YouTube on TV. That said, even if YouTube TV has just half the number of users as TiVo indicates, it is still the new category leader.

The TiVo numbers suggest the size of the vMVPD market could be much larger than the 4.5 million estimated. Dish Network reports that Sling TV has 2.2 million subscribers. YouTube TV could already have more than 4 million subscribers, and it could also mean the total number of vMVPD subscribers is almost double the previous estimates.

SVOD continues its inexorable advance

TiVo’s data says that SVOD continues to grow in all dimensions. 68% say they use an SVOD service, up more than 4% over the previous year. Netflix continues to dominate, with 55% saying they use the service. 26% use Amazon Prime Video, 17% use Hulu, and 6% use HBO NOW.

Spending on SVOD services increased strongly. The number of people spending more than $15 a month increased from 27% in Q4 2016 to 35% one year later. However, it could be vMVPDs that are driving this number, rather than people subscribing to multiple SVOD services. Only one vMVPD, Sling TV, has a tier below $21 a month. The rest charge $35 or more per month. The increase in the number of people spending over $21 a month was 9%, with 7% paying over $30.

Time spent with the services also increased. 93% of people that subscribe to SVOD services say they use the service every day, 3% higher than two years ago. As well, the number of people that say they use their service for less than 1 hour a month decreased 10%, to 12%. Meanwhile, those using their service for 2 hours a day or more increased dramatically. A third say they watch their SVOD services for more than 3 hours a day, and almost a half watch from 1 to 3 hours per day.

TVOD continues its slow drift downwards

Transactional VOD continues to struggle in the digital era. The number of people saying they had rented or purchased a movie or show online declined slightly over the last year, to 37%. Amazon maintained and slightly extended its lead, with 18% saying they used Amazon’s video store in Q4 2017. Redbox kiosk users fell slightly to 13%. Apple also lost a little ground to Amazon, with only 8% of saying they used iTunes in Q4. Google Play looks as though it may overhaul iTunes this year. It gained slightly more users and is only a little behind iTunes.

read more here: www.nscreenmedia.com