Pay TV Still in 71% of U.S. TV Homes

Kids streaming Netflix programming
(Image credit: Netflix)

The percentage of U.S. TV homes subscribing to a pay TV service has dropped to 71%, down from 82% in 2016 and 87% in 2011, according to a new report from Leichtman Research Group (LRG). 

Not surprisingly, LRG's Pay TV in the U.S. 2021 report finds that pay TV consumption is somewhat generational: of the 2,000 U.S. households polled, 77% still subscribe to a linear video service, while only 64% of those ages 18-44 do. 

Also notable:

> 41% of respondents who have moved in the last year don't have pay TV, a higher percentage than in previous years, according to LRG.

> 66% of non-pay TV subscribers have cut the cord at some point, while 34% have never had service at all. 

> 54% of those who have never had service are age 18-34. 

> 37% of all TV sets use a traditional pay T set-top vs. 58% in 2016.

> 40% of adults age 18-34 think it's OK to use a friend's account and authentication to watch a live TV service. 

“The penetration of pay-TV remains lowest among younger adults and the categories that they tend to populate, including movers and renters,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc.

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!