For the first time, the number of broadband customers exceeded the number of cable subscribers, according to end-of-June data from the Leichtman Research Group analyzing numbers from the nation’s nine largest cable companies.
As of the second quarter of 2014, the numbers of broadband subscribers clocked in at 49,915,000 customers, compared to 49,910,000 cable TV customers. Fine, fine. So we’re talking about a difference of 5,000 customers.
These numbers underscore the direction that media consumption is headed in — and it’s a digital one. While this milestone might suggest the decline of TV at first blush, what it actually underscores is the omni-platform nature of consumption.
Consumers are still watching plenty of TV; but now, many are watching it through digital means, via over-the-top services, game consoles or online video.
As an example, in the second quarter, digital viewing jumped by 28% over last year, said video ad management platform Freewheel. Also, the use of mobile phones for video viewing grew 93%, while the use of over-the-top devices for video rose 236% over last year.
Leichtman Research Group also found that the country’s 17 largest cable and telephone providers added nearly 385,000 new broadband customers in the second quarter. In the past decade, cable providers have added more than 30 million broadband customers.