A recent report by Leichtman Research Group (LRG) found that about 84 percent of U.S. households nationwide subscribed to some form of pay-TV service.
The report said that with an increase in occupied housing, penetration of pay-TV among residential households had waned from its peak in 2010 following the digital transition.
Among TV households that didn't subscribe to a pay-TV service, 6 percent planned to subscribe to a pay-TV service in the next six months —including 20 percent of those who subscribed in the past year, 2 percent who subscribed over one year ago, and 4 percent who never subscribed. Overall, 35 percent of non-subscribers never subscribed to a pay-TV service.
"The number of pay-TV subscribers in the U.S. remains about as high as it has ever been, but penetration of pay-TV services in consumers' homes has declined over the past few years, as subscriber growth has leveled-off, while occupied housing in the U.S. has increased," said Bruce Leichtman, resident and principal analyst for LRG. "Housing growth has been exclusively among renters, who tend to be more challenging for the pay-TV industry than home owners because of their comparatively lower income, younger age, and greater likelihood to move."
Other findings from the study included:
• Nationwide, 22 percent of TV households with annual incomes of less than $50,000 were non-subscribers, compared to 13 percent with incomes over $50,000
• Mean reported monthly spending on pay-TV service was $89.78, which was an increase of 36 percent since 2009
• And in a testament to churn, 12 percent of cable TV subscribers, 12 percent of telco TV subscribers, and 11 percent of satellite TV subscribers were likely to switch from their current provider in the next six months
• 11 percent of non-subscribers cited the Internet or Netflix as the main reason for not currently subscribing to a pay-TV service compared to 3 percent in 2009
• 22 percent of those who moved in the past year do not currently subscribe to a pay-TV service, which was a higher level than in previous years.
The results were based on a telephone survey of 1,260 households from throughout the United States, and are part of a new LRG study, “Cable, DBS & Telcos: Competing for Customers 2014,” which was LRG's 12th annual study on the topic.