U.S. Pay TV-Only Households Down To 14%; MVPD Plus SVOD Households Up to 60%

Sixty percent of U.S. TV households now have both traditional pay-TV/MVPD and at least one paid/subscription-based video-on-demand (SVOD) service, according to the latest annual pay-TV survey from Leichtman Research Group.

That’s up from 54% in last year’s survey.

Meanwhile, while the SVOD-only percentage remained at 20%, the pay TV-only percentage declined by seven percentage points, from 21% to 14%.  

Six percent say they have neither pay TV or SVOD, versus 5% last year.

“Traditional pay-TV services from cable, satellite, and telco providers are now in fewer than two-thirds of U.S households, while an increasing number of households are opting to get live pay-TV from internet-delivered vMVPD services,” says Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG. “Consumers continue to choose the video services that best fit their households’ needs. For 60% of households, this includes both pay-TV and SVOD services.”

Other findings:

*74% of TV households in the U.S. get a live pay-TV service via cable, DBS, Telco, or internet-delivered vMVPD, compared to 85% in 2015, 88% in 2010, and 82% in 2005.

*81% of those 55 and older have a pay-TV service, compared to 76% ages 35 to 54, and 63% ages 18-34.

*27% with both pay TV and SVOD are ages 18-34,  compared to 46% with SVOD-only.

*38% of those who moved in the past year do not currently get a pay-TV service – more than in any previous year.

*33% of those now without pay TV had a pay-TV service within the past three years, 34% last subscribed more than three years ago, and 33% never had a live pay-TV service.

*13% of all TV households are pay-TV non-subscribers with a TV antenna.

Leichtman’s 2020 'Pay-TV in the U.S." report is based on a survey of about 2,000 adults age 18 and older, conducted online (1,210) and by phone (790) during September and October 2020. The random sample was distributed and weighted to reflect the demographic and geographic make-up of the U.S. The overall sample has a statistical margin of error of +/- 2.2%.

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