Streaming Spending to Outpace Pay-TV in 2024, Says Strategy Analytics

(Image credit: Hub Entertainment Research)

NEWTON, Mass.—Streaming is poised to overtake pay-TV in terms of consumer spending as soon as 2024, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics.

The “U.S. Subscription TV Forecast” from Strategy Analytics details that pay-TV services fell by 8% in 2020, totaling $90.7 billion. That decrease is expected to continue, with pay-TV spending hitting $74.5 billion in 2023.

Streaming, meanwhile, is on the rise. In 2020 alone it increased 34% to reach $39.5 billion. By 2024 that number is projected to be $76.3 billion. This would mark the first time that streaming spending surpassed pay-TV.

(Image credit: Strategy Analytics)

Strategy Analytics points out that even as pay-TV viewership numbers have declined and in some cases already been surpassed by streaming, the money spent on pay-TV still exceeded that of streaming. However, as cord-cutting has become more common and streaming services more numerous, revenues are projected to shift away from legacy pay-TV.

In context, Strategy Analytics forecasts that pay-TV will account for 40% of spending on video and TV services in 2026, down from the 81% it represented 10 years earlier.

“The fact that viewers are willing to divert an ever-increasing share of their entertainment wallet away from pay TV and towards new internet-based services demonstrates that the future lies with streaming video services rather than legacy pay TV players,” said Michael Goodman, director, TV & Media Strategies for Strategy Analytics. “This is a long-term transition, but there is no doubt that the writing is on the wall for pay TV as we have known it for more than 40 years.”

For more information, read the full U.S. Subscription TV Forecast from Strategy Analytics.