How Far Will Multichannel Subscriptions Fall In Four Years?


That’s a question asked in a new report from S&P Global Business Intelligence research group Kagan, and the numbers aren’t too surprising for those who believe the era of MVPD dominance as a provider of cable TV service is ending.

Total traditional multichannel subscriptions, including residential and commercial, are forecast to fall in the tens of millions by the end of 2023.

The migration of U.S. consumers away from traditional multichannel video services has been on full display in the past decade, Kagan notes.

The shift is expected to increase moderately in the next 12 months, with several noteworthy accelerants contributing to long-term losses.

While traditional multichannel video subscriptions have been considered as the top home entertainment choice for U.S. households, the loss of content exclusivity is expected to shift the consumer base towards over-the-top video services and fuel the growing ranks of online-only video households.

That said, Kagan acknowledges that a series of price hikes have impacted subscriber growth in the virtual multichannel space.

However, the combined households relying on traditional and virtual multichannel services for video entertainment are still expected to account for the majority of occupied homes through 2023 with 64% of the market.

Key takeaways from Kagan’s latest U.S. Multichannel Subscriber report:
•    Total traditional multichannel subscriptions (including residential and commercial) down 16.4 million to 73.6 million.
•    Traditional residential multichannel households (excluding commercial and overlap) down 15.6 million to 70.5 million.
•    Virtual multichannel households up 6.4 million to 13.5 million.
•    Combined traditional and virtual multichannel down to 84 million residential subscribers.
•    Online video-only households up 10.6 million to 25.2 million.
•    Over-the-air (OTA) up 3.8 million to 21 million.