Less Than Half of U.S. Homes Have Linear Pay TV

Family watching TV
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The percentage of U.S. homes subscribing to "traditional" pay TV services (i.e. not streaming virtual MVPDs) has dipped below a critical threshold

Leichtman Research Group says that only 49% of U.S. households currently take linear cable, satellite or telco TV, down from 57% in 2021 and 74% in 2018. 

Yes, that's an 8% decline in 24 months. 

LRG said 15% of homes subscribe to vMVPDs, up from 14% in 2021 and just 4% in 2018. 

The overall 64% of homes that take a pay TV service in 2023 compares to 78% in 2018 and 86% in 2013. 

The findings for the research company's Pay-TV in the U.S. 2023 report were based on surveys of 1,769 U.S. households. 

Among all pay-TV subscribers, the mean reported spending per month is $112.70, which is 5% higher than the mean monthly spending in 2018. 

Pay TV isn't just getting more expensive, it's skewing older. 

The mean age of traditional pay-TV subscribers is 49.3 vs. 42.5 among non-subscribers, and 40.8 with vMVPD-only.

Also notable: Among those that never had a pay-TV service, 63% are ages 18-34.

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!