Streaming of virtual MPVD services accounted for about 10% of all OTT usage in the U.S. in April, according to a new report from comScore. This represents a 53% increase year over year in vMVPD usage, the research company noted. With operators including AT&T reporting swift growth of vMVPD services—the company’s DirecTV Now platform added 342,000 customers in the second quarter, for instance—the total U.S. vMVPD customer base grew 58% year over year to 4.99 million as of April, comScore added.
Notably, streaming pay TV services seem to be a competitive threat to Netflix, Hulu and other non-live OTT services. According to comScore, among households that have adopted OTT, nearly half of time spent on OTT services is devoted to vMVPDs.
ComScore also said that households with a vMVPD service spent, on average, 128 hours a month streaming OTT content,
Virtual MVPD households also tend to subscribe to more OTT services—an average of 6.1 services vs. the 3.8 for OTT households that don’t have a vMVPD subscription.
Susan Engleson, senior director of emerging products for comScore, predicted that vMVPD subscribers will reach 7 million by the end of 2018.
“Given the competitive price points and low barriers to entry for consumers (no installation required), I anticipate that we will continue to see significant growth in virtual MVPDs in the years to come,” she said. “Both Hulu and YouTube launched their services in 2017, so they are still in their infancy and have significant growth potential. In fact, it’s likely both services will well exceed one million users each this year.”