1 in 5 Americans won’t watch pay-TV in 2017

One in five US adults will not watch traditional pay-TV programming in 2017, according to eMarketer’s estimates. The total number of households subscribing to cable, satellite, or telco TV packages will inch down 0.7 per cent to 98.7 million. And that figure will continue to decline in tiny increments.

This year, 1.7 million US adults will cut the cable/satellite cord, as many of them opt for on-demand OTT services instead. But pay-TV is still the dominant medium. This year, 201.8 million US adults will watch traditional cable and satellite TV, while 175.4 million adults will watch digital video.

Meanwhile, time spent with traditional TV in 2017 will drop slightly to 4 hours 1 minutes per day, still far surpassing time spent with digital video, which will reach 1 hour and 12 minutes per day.

OTT services will add more users this year than pay-TV will lose. Still, said eMarketer Senior Analyst Paul Verna, “traditional pay-TV remains an attractive option for many consumers, mostly because it still delivers content that’s not readily available on streaming platforms, such as news and live sports.”

As their choices widen, users are opting for hybrids of traditional and digital rather than one or the other, Verna said. “The bottom line is consumers love TV programming, whether it’s delivered via the internet, cable, satellite or antennas. As long as that remains the case, content owners and distributors will be able to keep monetising this content through advertising, subscriptions, or some combination of both.”

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