The latest study by eMarketer says 4.9 million U.S. TV homes will unsubscribe from traditional pay TV service by the end of 2015, up over 4.4 million a year ago -- an 11% gain.
In four years, the study says, the percentage will grow to 8.4 million, climbing at a rate of 12.5% next year, 15.4% in 2017, 14.3% in 2018, and 15.2% in 2019.
Those who have never have been pay TV customers -- “cord-nevers” -- will rise to 15.9 million homes in 2015, climbing to 19.8 million of four years from now.
Cable TV pay providers will drop to 52.4 million subscribers by 2019 from 54.8 million currently, while satellite providers will hit 31.2 million, down from 33 million this year. Only telco providers will see growth during this period -- rising slightly to 12.0 million in 2019 from 11.6 million in 2015.
Pay TV viewers as a percentage of the population will drop to 83.6% this year and will rise to 77.4% in 2019. Non-viewers of pay service will reach 16.4% in 2015 and rise to 22.6% in 2019.
Forecasts and estimates from eMarketer are based on an analysis from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies, plus interviews with executives at publishers, ad buyers and agencies.