Studies show rapid uptick in dual SVOD subscriptions; another tech blog declares cable industry 'doomed'

Hulu

The share of U.S. homes that subscribe to more than one of the major SVOD services has risen from 26% to 38% in just one year, according to Hub Entertainment Research. 

Meanwhile, the share of U.S. homes that subscribe to all three major SVOD platforms—Netflix, Amazon and Hulu—has grown from 6% to 14%, according to the Hub report, which is detailed here by MediaPost

The Hub data is juxtaposed with Parks Associates info that surfaced last week indicating that nearly 60% of U.S. homes subscribe to at least one of the major services.

Based on the Parks report, tech blog Boy Genius Report (BGR) headlined a post, “New study shows why cable TV is actually doomed.”

Of course, with the pay TV industry suspected to have lost more than 1 million linear customers in the second quarter, there’s certainly substance to the notion that the collective infiltration by over-the-top insurgents is eroding pay TV. 

But the fact that tech blogs are still using “cable” as nomenclature to describe the broader base of traditional pay-TV services comes across as carelessly naive, especially when you consider the following:

  • Of the 758,000 linear pay-TV accounts that were estimated to have been lost in the U.S. by Leichtman Research Group (LRG) in the first quarter, only 15% of them belonged to cable. And the top cable operator Comcast actually grew its video base by 41,000 users.
     
  • No. 1 cable company Comcast now embeds popular SVOD services like Netflix into its user database, so SVOD services are also driving traditional cable TV subscriptions. 
     
  • The top U.S. cable companies collectively added more than 1 million broadband users in 2016, also according to LRG. All told, cable operators now control 63% of residential broadband homes in the U.S.
     
  • Cable operators are on the cusp of having their wish come true in regard to the FCC’s ability to regulate video traffic on their IP networks, with the agency’s newly appointed Republican leaders about to roll back the 2015 Title II rules on net neutrality.
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