Report: Linear TV Revenue Dips 6% to $94.7B, While OTT Rockets Up

(Image credit: Hub Entertainment Research)

VICTORIA, Canada—Linear TV is dragging as OTT continues its ascension, evidenced most recently by the Convergence Research Group when looking at the two areas' total revenues for 2020 and beyond.

Per Convergence’s “Battle of the American Couch Potato” report, linear TV (cable, satellite and telco TV) saw its 2020 revenue drop 6% to $94.7 billion. Things are not slated to get better in the next couple of years; revenues are projected to drop another 6.5% in 2021 and 10% in 2023, per Convergence. 

Contributing to this is the loss of pay-TV subscribers. In 2020 pay-TV lost 6.49 million subscribers and is forecasted to lose another 7.35 million in 2021. The rate is not slowing down either, as Convergence projects that 2023 will see the loss of 7.76 million subscribers.

OTT, on the other hand, is growing rapidly. OTT’s 2020 revenue came in at $29.6 billion, an increase of 35%. By 2023, that could double to $60 billion. This growth is supported by both established streaming services—Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video—and newer ones—HBO Max, Paramount+, Disney+.

Consumers are expected to add more OTT platforms to their households over the next couple of years. Likely related, the number of homes that are expected to not have any kind of linear TV is expected to increase from 42% to 60% by 2023.

Despite the changing market landscape, and a small decline in 2020, Convergence says that the U.S. TV business still drew in $220 billion.

For more information, visit the Convergence Research Group’s website