It’s been well-established, especially since the start of the pandemic, that cord-cutting has accelerated significantly.
According to Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG), the fifteen largest pay TV companies lost 2 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2020, and another 1.57 million in the second quarter. Satellite companies lost the most of all, although Comcast led the way among cable companies, losing 478,000 in the second quarter, although Charter managed to gain subscribers in the second quarter. The website KillTheCableBill, in fact, posted a calculation that the companies lost nearly $55 million, from those lost subscribers, based on the average cost of a cable bill.
While plenty of customers still have cable, and other pay TV services, another new study says that number is dwindling.
New research from Parks Associates, released Monday, shows that just 62 percent of broadband-equipped households in the U.S. continue to “subscribe to a traditional pay-TV service via a cable or satellite provider.” That number was 69 percent as recently as the first quarter of 2019.
This happened, however, video watched per week increased to more than 37 hours per household, as the pandemic has kept more people at home.
"The explosion of online viewing options and video consumption came at the same time many shelter-in-place orders were enacted. Households are relying more and more on OTT services for a top-quality entertainment experience,” Steve Nason, Research Director, Parks Associates, said in the announcement of the numbers. “The spike in online video consumption, the decrease in pay-TV-only households, and the shift of pay-TV online are widening the gap between OTT and traditional pay-TV. Traditional services are looking to migrate to the cloud to get the best of pay-TV and OTT.”
"We are witnessing a paradigm shift in the pay-TV industry across the board, with operators acknowledging the benefits of putting Cloud TV at the heart of their infrastructure," Nuno Sanches, General Manager, Media & Telecom for Kaltura, said in the announcement
"Just five years ago it was considered impossible to deliver operator-grade Quality-of-Service from the cloud. The economics was perceived to be too expensive, and it seemed that telecom operators would not accept the perceived loss of control involved in utilizing the open internet to deliver pay-TV services. But today, we have multinational pay-TV operators embracing Cloud TV as the best-of-breed solution to deliver future-proof services."
Parks Associates will hold a webinar, called “TV’s Journey to the Cloud,” on August 25, along with Kaltura, along with a guest from Amazon Web Services.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.