Over-the-top video keeps growing, largely due to connected TV users. Overall gains are coming at the expense of pay TV.
eMarketer estimates there will be 193.3 million OTT users in 2017, with 168.1 million U.S. connected TV users. By way of comparison, Nielsen says there were 292.4 million users of live and time-shifted TV viewing in the first quarter of this year.
For this year, nearly half of those connected TV users are estimated to be coming via smart TVs. In addition, 76.2% of those with a subscription OTT service use it at least once a month.
Looking at all OTT platforms, eMarketer says subscription-free YouTube is the leader. But subscription-based services, including Amazon Video, Netflix and Hulu, are growing at a faster rate.
According to eMarketer, OTT viewing/subscriptions are having an effect on lower traditional pay TV subscribers. The proportion of U.S. adults with a pay-TV subscription will fall from 77.6% in 2017 to 69.2% by the end of 2021.
This year, other estimates are that total U.S. pay TV subscribers are just under 100 million.