Wednesday, July 20, 2011

SNL Kagan Forecasts Over-the-Top Video Substitution for 4.5 Million U.S. Households in 2011

An estimated 4% of occupied U.S. households -- 4.5 million homes -- will have substituted Internet video options for cable, satellite or telco TV service by the end of 2011, according to a new forecast from research firm SNL Kagan.

"Though the thin slice of households relying [on over-the-top] substitution could be dismissed as evidence of a lack of momentum behind cord cutting, the 4.5 million households it represents are not inconsequential, particularly in light of the basic subscriber declines for the cable industry," the firm wrote in a report released Wednesday.

Multichannel substitution via over-the-top delivery will grow from 2.5 million households at the end of 2010 (2% of occupied U.S. homes) to 12.1 million by 2015 (10% of all households).

Penetration of traditional pay television services may have peaked in 2009, according to SNL Kagan.

At the end of 2010, an estimated 84.9% of the occupied U.S. households subscribed to a multichannel package (after eliminating the overlap of customers with multiple subscriptions), the research firm said. The decline from nearly 86% at the end of 2009 illustrates "the potential peak in multichannel penetration."

SNL Kagan projects continued absolute growth in pay-TV subscribers, but the pace is "not expected to keep up with occupied household formation, leading to a long-term decline in penetrations for multichannel services."

The research company expects 12 million households, roughly 10%, to go without cable, satellite or telco video service by 2015.

How will fans be watching soaps by then? Once we can watch live TV shows on iPads and other devices, the cord cutting will accelerate.


  1. Um--Most watched soaps are on major broadcast OTA tv, not cable. Fans of the genre have tuned out and are likely not to return, for getting involved in a 'continuing' story that will eventually end or get ruined by numerous regime changes.

  2. Actually the most watch soaps are on cable in prime time.