GroupM: U.S. Pay TV Penetration to Fall Below 50% by 2025

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NEW YORK—The big media buying company GroupM is predicting that all U.S. pay TV providers will reach fewer than one half of all U.S. homes by 2025. 

The projection is part of the company’s annual advertising forecast, which is also predicting that connected TV advertising will make up nearly one third of all U.S. TV advertising by 2027.

The GroupM forecast is predicting 6.5% global growth in advertising excluding U.S. political advertising for 2023, with global traditional TV advertising declining by 0.9% to $134.6 billion in 2023, while connected TV advertising showing a 18% pop to $23.2 billion and total TV/video advertising increasing by 1.5% to $157.8 billion around the world. 

The forecast noted that “the U.S. economy has proved fairly resilient” and has not tipped into recession.  “Currently, we expect connected TVs to grow double-digits over the next four years and make up nearly a third of all TV advertising revenue by 2027,” the report noted.  

In explaining its prediction that pay TV penetration will fall below 50% in 2025, GroupM noted that “In the U.S. in the closing months of 2022, streaming providers have claimed virtually all the most watched TV programs other than live sports, which is still dominated by linear networks and cable channels. But as Apple, Amazon and other non-traditional players enter the market for sports rights even this last passion of linear viewership won’t be guaranteed. Sports alone certainly haven’t been enough to stem the losses of video customers from cable and satellite providers.”

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.