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Are you a cord-cutter who has chosen to abandon cable and satellite in favor of streaming services? It’s a trend that has exploded over last few years. According to a new report from the Video Advertising Bureau, the number of US households using only over-the-top (OTT) streaming services has almost tripled since 2013.
Five years ago, the number of streaming-only homes in America stood at just over 5 million. In 2017, that figure had jumped to 14.1 million. The report adds that the majority of these households have at least two different streaming services, while 32 percent use three or more.
14.1 million might sound like an impressive amount, but it still represents just 11 percent of all US TV households. More homes—15 million, or 12 percent—receive broadcast network signals using an over-the-air digital TV antenna.
Unsurprisingly, it’s the big-name services like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, and Hulu that are encouraging more homes to become streaming-only. The top four firms account for 80 percent of OTT viewing hours. But streaming still makes up a small amount of overall TV viewing time—11 percent for those aged 18 to 49 during October 2017.
Interestingly, 70 percent of households that subscribe to a streaming service also had a cable, satellite, or telco TV subscription. As streaming companies continue to improve and expand the range of content they offer, more people could decide to leave cable entirely. The report forecasts that the number of OTT-only homes will grow by 8.2 percent to 17.9 million by 2021, while those that mix cable and streaming will fall by 2.4 percent.
According to a related report from eMarketer (via TechCrunch), TV ad spending will decline in 2018 following an initial drop last year. The US presidential election and Tokyo Olympics will see spending shoot up in 2020, but it will fall again by 2022.
“Over-the-top platforms are growing in number and size, and many compete directly with pay TV by offering bundles of live channels at attractive price points,” said eMarketer principal analyst Paul Verna. “Consumers who want to cut or shave the cord now have a wealth of options that didn’t exist a couple of years ago. And we expect the offerings to become even more robust as more players enter the market,” he added.