7 FEB 2022

Pay-TV in the US is projected to drastically drop in the next five years

The industry is expected to reach 60 million pay TV subscribers by 2027, representing a decline of over 50%. IPTV and digital sets will also experience declines, while pay-tv-less households are projected to rise.

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Digital TV Research recently released a forecast revealing pay tv's fate for the next five years. The industry is expected to reach 60 million pay-TV subscribers by 2027, representing a decline of over 50%. “The US lost 6 million pay-TV subscribers each year from 2019 to 2021,” Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, said. “Losses will decrease from now on, but the 2027 total will be 12 million lower than 2021.”

Pay-TV penetration has dropped drastically over the last decade, from 91% in 2010 to 60% in 2021. The number of households without any form of pay-TV subscription is set to increase from 11.34 million in 2010 to 72.86 million in 2027, with cord-cutting acting as the main culprit.

The market experienced a slight peak in 2014, amounting up to US$101 billion. A US$48 billion decline, however, is predicted between that period and 2027, driving the overall projected total to US$53 billion. The IPTV sector is also due for a gradual decline from a peak of 6.985 million in 2021 to 4.388 million in 20212, while the digital cable is also set to drop from 45.767 million in 2021 to 41.199 million in six years.

To calculate the estimate, the researcher analyzed various pay-tv platforms, discovering that pay-tv subscribers will have more than halved from 2010 by 2027 to a total of 14.627 million by 2027, with 2021’s total amounting to 19.775 million. On the contrary, the rate of pay-TV-less households is expected to rise from 11.34 million in 2010 to 72.86 million in 2027, also caused by cord-cutting.

The US lost 6 million pay TV subscribers each year from 2019 to 2021. Losses will decrease from now on, but the 2027 total will be 12 million lower than 2021.” Simon Murray Principal Analyst, Digital TV Research