With 10 million traditional pay TV users ditching their service in 2020, virtual MVPD platforms, while not necessarily growing gangbusters, are accounting for a bigger and bigger share of the overall pay TV market.
According to Parks Associates, by 2024, vMVPDs will account for 23 million of the 53 million remaining pay TV subscriptions in the U.S.
“Online pay TV service from virtual MVPDs, players that target the general population instead of offering services to a specific geographic footprint, grew by an estimated three million [in 2021],” said Kristen Hanich, senior analyst for Parks Associates. “vMVPDs overall have grown to represent an increasingly large percentage of the pay-TV market, accounting for 16% of U.S. pay-TV subscriptions in 2020.”
It's not that virtual operators are growing so fast, it's that traditional cable, satellite and telco pay TV is retrenching so quickly. According to Parks, the entire U.S. pay TV market declined by 18 million users from 2014-2020.
As of this year, 40% of broadband subscribers don't subscribe to another telecom service. (See Parks' chart below.)
“U.S. ISPs collectively have over 110 million residential and small business internet subscriptions as of Q1 2021,” Hanich added. “The standalone broadband market will continue to grow, increasing pressure on these service providers to find the next combination of services that best leverages this massive subscriber base.”
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