It’s not new information that people are leaving cable by the thousands and cable alternatives are more popular than ever before. But a new study from the Kagan unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence sheds some light on just how drastically the landscape is changing.
By 2021, the number of homes with “nontraditional” television packages is expected to grow to nearly 45 million. Out of that number, the largest subgroup is the 18 million homes who will be relying on “self-aggregated online content,” or over the top streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. That doesn’t include streaming television services like DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV, YouTube TV, or PlayStation Vue.
Another 15 million homes will get their television from an antenna (either digital, analog or other style) for standard broadcast TV.
11 million homes are projected to get their television from what’s called “virtual” pay TV options, or streaming television options like such as Sling TV.
Traditional pay television is still the largest portion of subscribers by a good margin, and it’s expected to be that way for a while. But there’s no doubt that new alternatives are starting to impact their standing. Cable TV is going to be down 11% (almost 11 million subscribers) to 82.3 million by 2021. And when you consider that many of those traditional pay TV homes also use other digital video services like Netflix, it’s not hard to imagine people choosing to drop cable first.
There are around 118 million television homes right now, a number that’s expected to grow to about 125 million by 2021.
As cable scrambles to figure out a plan to keep their subscribers, it seems like a new streaming company is popping up every month. And then they offer pretty much the same thing as cable for a fraction of the price, it’s hard to imagine the television scene ever being the same again.