The number of U.S. households watching premium online content doubled in the past year to more than 25 million said Parks Associates, and the accelerating growth is causing the cable industry to look harder at products that will appeal to consumers, like TV Everywhere.
Parks Associates said some 20 million U.S. households watch movies online and 25 million have watched full-length TV episodes.
Combined with an increasing number of households that are opting to cut the cord to their pay TV service--a Canadian study said some 800,000 U.S. households already have cut the cord in the past two years and are using over-the-top delivery--and it's a potent stimulant for an industry that so far has been pretty somnambulant about the threat of online video. With the exception of Comcast, no U.S. cable operator or telco has jumped into TV Everywhere aggressively.
"Connected CE devices are affecting the competitive ecosystem of the television industry, and while the current number of cord cutters isn't substantial, service providers are concerned about these developments," said Jayant Dasari, research analyst, Parks Associates. "Pay-TV providers are working to head off a possible shift that might devalue their services by offering TV Everywhere. These services supplement their traditional offerings, which might not dissuade anyone determined to cut the cord, but providers could use them as models for future business strategies."
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