Study: Pay TV Subs Making an OTT Connection

NEW YORK--Amplifying a growing trend, 21 percent of U.S. pay TV customers say they subscribe to an online video service from their MVPD, up from 10 percent a year ago, according to a Parks Associates study.

Parks Associates, which based the study on a survey of 10,000 heads-of broadband households in the U.S. in Q3 2017, said the rise is attributed to the increased number of partnerships between pay TV providers and OTT players, citing Comcast’s support of Netflix on the MSO’s internet-capable X1 set-top box platform as a prime example.

[Read: All ‘Major’ TV Networks To Launch OTT, Direct-To-Consumer Services By 2022: TDG]

Comcast, of course, is far from alone in this trend, as Dish Network, Altice USA as well as TiVo’s and Espial’s various cable operator partners have also woven OTT content with traditional TV. That’s also going to be a focus for Charter Communications’ new Worldbox platform.

The study, 360 View: Access and Entertainment Services in U.S. Broadband Households, also found that pay TV subscription rates dropped from 86 percent in 2015, to 77 percent in late 2017. And while 84 percent of pay TV subs get a service from a traditional cable, satellite or telco TV service provider, nearly 18 percent of pay TV homes get a package from an OTT TV provider.

“The number of ‘Cord Never’ households (which have never had pay-TV service) is increasing slowly, but those who have sampled pay TV are testing new alternatives,” Brett Sappington, senior director at Parks Associates, said in statement. “The percentage of those open to cancelling pay TV or minimizing their monthly spend on pay TV is also up. This ongoing shift is affecting all aspects of service design, promotion, packaging, and pricing. As a result, operators are having to reassess their technology and content investments as well as their partnerships and go-to-market strategy.”

This article originally appeared in TV Technology sister publication Multichannel News.