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One Fifth of U.S Homes Have Subscription Streaming but No Pay TV

A remote control pointing at a TV
(Image credit: Getty Images)

U.S. TV consumption has crossed an important threshold, with households more likely to rely on only streaming than exclusively use pay TV.

According to the latest Leichtman Research Group’s report, 20% of U.S. homes pay for at least one subscription VOD streaming service but not a pay TV platform. Conversely, only 14% of U.S. homes pay for a cable, satellite or telco channel bundle, but don’t have an SVOD service. 

In the 18th iteration of LRG’s Pay TV in the U.S. report, the company found that 74% of U.S. households still have pay TV of some kind, whether it be cable or a virtual MVPD. This compares to 85% in 2015, 88% in 2010 and 82% in 2005.

Notably, 38% of those that moved in the past year do not currently get a pay-TV service – a higher level than in any previous year.

In all, 60% of U.S. homes have both linear pay TV and SVOD. Six percent of homes have neither pay TV or SVOD. 

Among traditional linear pay TV users, 79% also have an SVOD service. And 96% of homes getting linear pay TV from an internet-delivered service (vMVPD) have an SVOD service like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime Video. 

“Traditional pay-TV services from cable, satellite, and Telco providers are now in less 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,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “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.”