According to a study by The Diffusion Group, at the end of 2017 some 5.3 million households subscribed to a virtual MVPD service. Dish’s Sling TV led the way with 2.3 million subscribers, followed by DirecTVNow with 1.2 million, Playstation Vue with 600,000, Hulu with live TV at 450,000, YouTube TV with 300,000 and FuboTV with 150,000.
Sling and Playstation have been in the market the longest, with Sling now two years old, while Hulu and YouTube’s products are less than a year old but gaining ground quickly.
While the traditional video bundle remains dominated by regional cable companies and the two big satellite companies DirecTV and Dish, the virtual MVPD market is still relatively small, and fragmented, driven by a slew of companies with a national footprint, and slow but steady adoption by consumers.
As Multichannel News notes, however, virtual MVPDs are more exposed to churn than traditional video bundles, many of which lock in consumers with contracts. The contract-free world of streaming bundles means that consumers can quickly and with little effort test multiple services, and switch at will. As more entrants crowd the field, that could lead to more volatility among the market leaders.
For advertisers, meanwhile, all off these streaming bundles offer a welcome opportunity to bridge the divide between TV advertising and interactive video advertising. Streaming bundles have the same live commercial pods that traditional bundles do, but will allow for more dynamic ad insertion, customizability and interactivity than those bundles. As the overall subscriber market grows, those opportunities for marketers will grow accordingly.