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Report: 20% of U.S. Homes Opt for SVOD Over Pay-TV

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(Image credit: Hub Entertainment Research)

DURHAM, N.H.—One of out five consumers are fine with just having some combination of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ or any other SVOD platform as their viewing option at home, according to a new survey from the Leichtman Research Group.

The survey found that 20% of U.S. TV households have a SVOD service but no pay-TV subscription. However, a majority (60%) still do subscribe to both a pay-TV and SVOD service. Only 14% said that they only had a pay-TV service, while just 6% said they had neither pay-TV or SVOD.

Just under three-fourths of households (74%) get a live pay-TV service, be it cable, DBS, telco or an vMVPD. That is down from responses in 2015 (85%), 2010 (88%) and 2005 (82%). Among those with a pay-TV service (cable, telco, DBS), 79% have an SVOD service; if they have an vMVPD that number jumps to 96%. About 76% of pay-TV non-subscribers have an SVOD. 

SVOD isn’t the only way people are watching content if they don’t have pay-TV, as LRG reports that 13% of pay-TV non-subscribers utilize a TV antenna.

The older a respondent was the more likely they were to have a pay-TV subscription: 81% for 55 year olds and older; 76% of ages 35-54; and 63% of ages 18-34. With the youngest age bracket, 27% said they had both a pay-TV service and SVOD, while 46% said they just had an SVOD.

“Traditional pay-TV services from cable, satellite and telco providers are now in less than two-thirds of U.S. households, while an increasing number of households are opting to get live pay-TV from internet-delivered vMVPD services,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG. “Consumers continue to choose the video services that best fit their household needs. For 60% of households, this includes both pay-TV and SVOD services.”

Additional findings from LRG’s report include how 38% of those who moved in the last year do not currently have a pay-TV service, higher than any previous year. Also, 33% of pay-TV non-subscribers had a pay-TV service within the last three years, 34% last subscribed more than three years ago and 33% never had a pay-TV service.