Watch MCN: vMVPDs by the Numbers

Since fuboTV launched a small, soccer-focused OTT-delivered pay TV service in January 2015, some seven other virtual MVPDs, have entered the market. Their subscriber numbers suggest that traditional MVPD customers may be willing to cut the cord but don't want to cut out the bundle, at least not completely. Here's how the services stack up (video last updated 2-23-2018).

Following fuboTV (which in February 2017 launched a new, broader service) cameSling TV (February 2015),Sony PlayStation Vue (March 2015), DirecTV Now (November 2016),YouTube TV (April 2017), Hulu Live TV (May 2017), CenturyLink Stream (June 2017, beta) and Philo (November 2017).

Together they ended 2017 with 5.3 million subscribers, a recent study by The Diffusion Group found.

UPDATE (2-21-2018): CenturyLink Pulling Plug on OTT TV Beta Service

While the vMVPD services are growing, and new ones will come -- including T-Mobile's in the wake of its $325 million Layer3 TV acquisition -- it appears cord-cutters and cord-nevers so far favor the myriad streaming subscription VOD options vs. OTT-delivered live TV.

General entertainment (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video) and premium direct-to-consumer (HBO Now, Starz) SVOD services held a massive lead over the newer, more expensive vMVPDs in a November 2017 Parks Associates survey of U.S. consumers. Sling TV was the only vMVPD to crack the list of 2017's Top 10 OTT services.

Related: Tracking Sling TV

But possibly weighing in the skinny bundle's favor, it turns out that network brands really do matter, a Hub Entertainment Research study suggests. Despite the accepted tenet that consumers care about shows but not the programmers behind them, Hub's tests revealed that viewers' interest in a program is influenced by the network that carries it. For example, after hearing a description of a hypothetical reality show, about 47% of participants were extremely or very interested in watching it as a Netflix series vs. 30% if on Travel Channel.

The subscriber numbers in the video -- all estimated minimums -- were compiled by Jeff Baumgartner, MCN senior content producer-technology, from company reports, CNBC projections and the TDG study. Read more here.

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