Will U.S. Linear Video Accounts Grow in 2017?

Though customer losses get the headlines, it is net gains or losses for any legacy service that matter, not just the number of customers who drop service.

The reason: though churn matters for any legacy service in a zero-sum market, net account gains or losses matter more.

Consider a recent forecast by cg42 that perhaps 800,000 U.S. customers will drop linear video subscriptions over the next year.

What that same study also suggests is that six percent of survey respondents who never have bought linear video said they are “very or extremely likely” to subscribe to cable in the next 12 months.

If there are about 16.9 million “cord-never” households, that could represent a gain of perhaps one million households. If 800,000 accounts are lost (and not not switched to another provider), it is conceivable that there could be a net gain of about 200,000 accounts.

Linear TV might be a mature product, but its decline remains very slow, with year-over-year account loss of less than one percent, on a net basis.
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