Once considered the future of the video business, OTT-based live-channel bundles, otherwise known as virtual MVPDS, or vMVPDs, have been more recently written off by some analysts as failed businesses.
But nearly six years after Dish Network ushered in the vMVPD model with the launch of Sling TV, the competitors seem to be holding the line in a low-margin gambit, where affordable pricing is undermined by ever-increasing program licensing demands.
With the recent launch of T-Mobile’s TVision service, there are more than a dozen vMVPDs on the market. But the third quarter was the first time that all of the biggest virtual operators actually reported their subscriber counts. In fact, the top six services tallied more than 11.5 million users between them.
By our rough estimate, about 15% of the remaining pay TV business in the U.S. is accounted for by these no-contract, immediate sign-up, skinny-bundled OTT services.
Below is a low-resolution look at how the top six vMVPDs stack up in terms of stated subscriber count.
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!