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Traditional TV providers continue to lose subscribers, with the top 10 shedding over 400,000 subscribers this past quarter alone. While cord-cutting has been acknowledged for some time now, these are worst-ever numbers for the pay-TV providers.
According to analysts Craig Moffett and Michael Nathanson: “A year ago, the pay-TV sector was shrinking at an annual rate of 0.1 per cent. A year later, the rate at which the pay-TV sector is declining has quickened to 0.7 per cent year-over-year. That may not seem like a mass exodus, but it is a big change in a short period of time. And the rate of decline is still accelerating.”
But meanwhile, OTT providers are gaining subscribers at a much faster rate. This means that in addition to soaking up these cord-cutters, services like Netflix, Hulu, and Rabbit TV are signing up millions of users from among current cable subscribers. With price being among the chief complaints of those who shun pay-TV, it’s unlikely that these users will continue to pay for both streaming and traditional TV service in perpetuity. They’re just waiting for the right opportunity: a good deal, a new streaming service from their favourite channel, or the next inevitable price hike from the cable company.
FreeCast CEO William Mobley shared his thoughts on this trend, and what it meant for his company’s product, Rabbit TV Plus: “We’re a virtual MSO. We call it a MAP, Media Aggregation Platform, but it’s the same concept. There are channels out there: CBS, HBO, ESPN, and yes, even Netflix is essentially a channel. Just like the cable companies, we bring all freely available and paid channels together in one place and make it easy. That convenience is essential. Rabbit TV is going to be the thing that allows a lot of these millions of users who want to cut the cord to actually do it.”