Research group In-Stat released a new study indicating pay-TV subscriber households actually dropped for the first time in quite a while. Analysts initially believed the decrease was due to internet TV, but they then found that the sluggish economy and high unemployment were to blame as the primary reason.
Companies are flocking to the streaming market as cable and satellite providers scramble to find ways to cater to consumers.
“There are several reasons behind the quarterly subscriber loss,” said Mike Paxton, In-Stat Principal Analyst, in a press statement. “While growing availability of over-the-top Internet video is spurring talk of mass ‘cord-cutting,’ this decline is not about canceling pay TV in favor of Internet video. The main driver of these subscriber declines is the struggling US economy and high unemployment.”
Both satellite and cable providers are becoming increasingly engaged in a battle with online services that offer streaming content into the living room. Last year one analyst even described online content as the “wild, wild west.”
I find it surprising that the bad economy is the leading factor this late in the year, as the economy is said to supposedly be slowly recovering now. Cable providers and broadcasters continue to test new methods to monetize streaming content, but the industry still has to mature further. Until then, expect to see streaming services continue to try and cash in as more consumers show interest in cutting the proverbial cord for cable and satellite services.
Meanwhile, video game consoles, set-top boxes, and other popular consumer products offer free and premium content streaming into the living room. Set-top boxes still have some problems, but should eventually have a bright future. There are also more a la carte services and “TV Everywhere” services that are now offering entertainment options in the connected living room.
Have you considered cancelling your subscription TV service? If so, what are you primary motivations?