A new report estimates about 4.5 million, or 4%, of U.S. homes will have only over-the-top delivery of video service by the end of this year. That figure, according to SNL Kagan, is projected to rise to 12.1 million over the ensuing four years, which would be about 10% of homes.
They would rely on Netflix and Amazon for content.
Kagan says over-the-top consumers "impacted the subscriber counts for multichannel service providers in 2010." They are expected to "exert competitive pressure going forward."
Executives at cable providers say there is scant evidence of cord-cutting, and reductions in subscriber rolls are due more to factors such as the economy or slowed household formations.
In 2010, the second and third quarters marked the first declines in subscribers with a multichannel subscription, but the figure did increase for the full year.
Kagan estimates that about 85% of homes had a subscription at the end of 2010. (The figure counts homes with multiple subscriptions just once.)