New research shows 21% of pay TV households subscribe to online video service through their pay TV provider

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A fifth of pay TV subscribers access services like Netflix through their providers. (Netflix)

Research by consultancy Parks Associates shows that 21% of U.S. pay TV customers say they subscribe to an online video service through their pay TV provider, more than double from 10% a year ago.

In a report published late last week, the firm, which specializes in emerging consumer technology, attributed the jump to an increasing number of partnerships between pay TV and OTT providers where operators such as Comcast and others are adding support for Netflix and other online services in their set-top boxes. 

“The number of ‘Cord Never’ households, which have never had pay TV service, is increasing slowly, but those who have sampled pay TV are testing new alternatives,” said Brett Sappington, senior director of research for Parks Associates, in a release.

He noted that the percentage of those open to canceling pay TV or minimizing their monthly spend on pay TV is also up.

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“This ongoing shift is affecting all aspects of service design, promotion, packaging, and pricing. As a result, operators are having to reassess their technology and content investments as well as their partnerships and go-to-market strategy,” Sappington added.

Parks’ new consumer study, called 360 View: Access and Entertainment in U.S. Broadband Households, explores the environment, consumer demand, use, and perception of pay TV and broadband services among U.S. broadband households. The study also said that pay TV subscription rates have dropped from 86% in 2015 to 77% in late 2017. 

Some 84% of pay TV subscribers have service from a traditional cable, satellite, or telco provider. And nearly 18% of pay TV households have a subscription package from an online video service, like Sling for instance, or a traditional provider now offering an online video bundle.