Virtual Pay TV Services Face Subscriber Slowdown

Thinking about new digital video options/platforms for millennials? You better construct one with much more flexibility than currently available -- now and in the future.

Here’s some eye-opening data: In Canada, almost half of people under 30, or 44%, are cord-cutters or cord-nevers -- opting for Netflix and other online TV alternatives.

The U.S. is in somewhat better shape in this regard. A recent study shows that of those between the ages of 22 and 37, 19%, were cord-cutters and 18% were cord-nevers, a total of 37%.

All this comes against some digital monthly packages for live, linear TV networks -- such as Sling TV, DirecTV Now -- which are seeing slower growth in terms of subscribers. And many are raising prices -- even as some, at the same time, offer cheaper bare-bones packages of networks.

Traditional media wants more options. Walt Disney, WarnerMedia, and NBCUniversal are moving to extend TV businesses out of traditional pay TV platforms into new forms, including individual brand-centric digital platforms where they have more control.

Local TV stations could all have one (or more) OTT platforms -- there are around 1,800 TV stations in the U.S. In addition, entertainment entrepreneurs are mulling OTT platforms for specific talent -- actors, performers -- with content that goes beyond current podcast phenomenon.

This year, it is projected that two big traditional pay TV providers will lose over 1 million subscribers each -- with AT&T’s DirecTV sinking 1 million and Comcast/Xfinity down 1.5 million. Both companies, and others, are not developing more digital video products.

The big question: Where are millennials with these new virtual video services -- and what’s the churn among this group month to month?

One thing we've heard before: Every modern media consumer wants flexibility when it comes to choosing individual networks in these packages, as well as low prices. They also want the ability to drop these services in an moment’s notice. 

And for millennials? Double the entropy.

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