The report reveals that the traditional pay-TV providers are not able to fight the onslaught of OTT platforms despite forming partnerships with former over-the-top (OTT) rivals to retain customers. Overall, 186.7 million US adults will watch pay TV (cable, satellite or telco) in 2018, down 3.8% over last year. That’s slightly higher than the 3.4% dip in 2017. Satellite providers will have the biggest decline, followed by the telco.
eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Christopher Bendtsen commented: “Most of the major traditional TV providers [Charter, Comcast, Dish, etc.] now have some way to integrate with Netflix. These partnerships are still in the early stages, so we don’t foresee them having a significant impact reducing churn this year. With more pay TV and OTT partnerships expected in the future, combined with other strategies, providers could eventually slow—but not stop—the losses.”
The streaming platforms are growing at the expense of pay TV losses. In fact, eMarketer has increased its future viewership estimates for YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. Growth is being fueled by more original programming and demand for multiple services.
eMarketer principal analyst Paul Verna said, “The main factor fueling the growth of on-demand streaming platforms is their original content. Consumers increasingly choose services on the strength of the programming they offer, and the platforms are stepping up with billions in spending on premium shows.”