Leichtman Research Group Ends Distribution of Public Reports

Tunnel 'o data
(Image credit: Future)

Leichtman Research Group, which has published well-regarded quarterly tallies of U.S. pay TV and broadband subscriber counts going back to the halcyon days of DSL in the early 2000s, is no longer offering its data to the public. 

The company’s First Quarter Research Notes, published back on March 26, will mark its last publicly distributed report.

Bruce Leichtman

Bruce Leichtman (Image credit: Leichtman Research Group)

“While LRG continues to track the industry and provide quarterly updates for our clients, I’ve decided to no longer publicly release the topline findings — I thought the year-end results were a good time to make the pivot,” company founder and principal analyst Bruce Leichtman told Next TV Thursday morning. 

We regularly abstracted LRG’s pay TV and broadband reports, sometimes getting too creative and driving past pro forma guardrails (apologies, Bruce).

We'll certainly miss LRG's quarterly data. 

And we missed the March 26 Research Notes report in which Leichtman — a New Englander, former distance runner and Kenny Loggins fan — discussed his company's pivot at length:

This is it 

In the early 2000s I discovered that running could actually be fun. While I was never gifted with speed, I enjoyed the motivation to improve, along with the feeling of being outside even on a cold New England day. As my distances expanded, I found my go-to song for the longer runs and races: This Is It by Kenny Loggins. 

A person’s pump-up song can tell you a lot about them, and even if we’ve never met, I’ve just thrown my cards on the table. This song falls in the genre that I frequently listened to when I was younger, unfortunately now known as Yacht Rock. Somehow, this nomenclature doesn’t make it seem as hip as it did back in the day, when This Is It made it into the top 20 on both the Adult Contemporary and R&B charts. 

Not wholly coincidentally, my running hobby began around the same time I started Leichtman Research Group (LRG), a name that unsurprisingly was not already taken. My goal with LRG was to build on my communications industry experience and knowledge by conducting related consumer research with more frequency than the annual studies that some larger firms were doing. 

In addition, a discussion/bar bet with an industry colleague (about whether there were more broadband subscribers via cable or DSL) helped lead me to a complementary research model. Over the past two decades, LRG has tracked the number of subscribers reported by the major broadband and pay TV providers, and publicly released the cumulative quarterly topline findings to help provide an ongoing industry scoreboard (and possibly resolve any bets). 

But the industry tracking has also helped to guide the consumer research. While surveys can provide a wealth of information on what consumers have, want and think about various products and services, reporting from providers offers data that can tell us where the market actually stands. Observing the alignment between these two sources of data offers an advantageous view of industry dynamics. 

It is this combination of consumer research and provider tracking that have been at the core of my business, and have been the basis of these Research Notes. The Notes are a compilation of the press releases from the latest consumer research studies and the provider tracking results for the quarter, along with a dedicated column with some additional observations (often including the copious use of numbers to help illustrate my points). 

About a decade ago, my knees told me that road running was no longer in the cards, but as a business evolves there’s no torn meniscus to tell you that it’s time to stop putting out press releases and newsletters. While LRG will continue to research and track the industry, which is as fascinating as it has ever been, this is the final version of the Research Notes.

As usual, below you will find highlights from a recent LRG consumer study, along the latest provider subscriber figures for year-end 2023. 

Thanks very much to all who have received and read these Notes, and those who have provided valuable feedback and assistance through the years.

Daniel Frankel

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!