Cord-cutters continued to make a dent in cable TV subscribers in the second quarter of 2015. Tracking the top 20 providers, which account for 95 percent of the market, a new report from Strategy Analytics on pay TV reported subscriber losses of a whopping 479,000 in the U.S. between April and June. The report claimed that the subscribers declined at “the highest rate we have seen so far.”
Canada saw a similarly proportionate drop-off of 53,000 subscribers from traditional TV services. In addition, Digital TV subscriptions from Internet Protocol TV services (IPTV) also fell 62,000 in the US and 9,000 in Canada in the second quarter.
The news comes on the heels of the first ever net drop in US pay TV subscribers in 2015’s first three months of the year. The losses have helped create a massive sell-off on Wallstreet as stocks for big media conglomerates like Disney, Time Warner, and others have all been in a nose dive over the last week or so.
That said, while it looks like this will be a continuing trend as more TV consumers switch to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video, analysts still see some promising signs in the pay TV sector. The report notes that the 10s of millions of pay TV customers who remain are paying more, on average, for those services. DirecTV, Charter, Dish Network, and Time Warner Cable all saw multiple percentage point increases in their average revenue per user (APU).
In addition, Strategy Analytics notes that — regardless of the decreases in both pay TV and digital TV subscriptions — upcoming over-the-top video services from Verizon, Comcast, CenturyLink (and, possibly, AT&T after its DirecTV acquisition) will offset some of those subscriber losses.
That being said, cord-cutting isn’t something for cable providers to take lightly. “There is clear and convincing evidence that consumers are increasingly cutting the cord or shaving the cord,” wrote BITG Research analyst Rich Greenfield, according to Variety. “In turn, some of the executive commentary makes you wonder how disconnected from reality they are.”
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