Saturday, June 11, 2022

More are not paying for TV

A report from Leichtman Research Group says major pay TV services lost nearly 2-million subscribers in the first quarter of 2022. And yes, that's a lot. But some of the articles I've seen missed a key point.

First, the overall report gave some interesting -- well, interesting to me -- stats about various pay TV services services.

According to the report, most of the numbers are estimates, though some are hard numbers. And of the top traditional cable outlets, a total of825,308 customers left the services:

That's a lot of disappearing revenue. And the bad news continues. Other major providers, including DirecTV, Dish, Verizon FIOS, and Frontier lost623,000 on top of that:

But then comes the part that most of the news reports I've seen overlook. And maybe intentionally. Three top streaming services, Hulu+Live TV, Sling TV, and Fubo TV lost507,562 subscribers during the quarter.

Yep, pay TV is showing losses in cable, satellite, telco, and streaming.

Some are spinning the report to show people are dropping cable and satellite in favor of streaming. And I think that's true. But it also shows losses in some areas of streaming. So what it really means is people are realizing they don't need to pay as much for TV to enjoy watching TV.

An antenna is a great way to watch free TV. I realize not everybody has an antenna. And for some people, it's expensive to put up a large outdoor antenna, which is needed if you live far from the TV towers. I live over 40 miles from the nearest major towers, and I couldn't just put up a small indoor antenna. And a small outdoor antenna was hit and miss. So I needed a large outdoor antenna, and I paid to have one put up. I've been happy with the results.

But even if I didn't put up an antenna, I wouldn't pay for a live streaming service. I do use the antenna, but rarely to watch the major networks such as ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. My Hulu subscription ($7/month) gets me next day programs on three of those four (no CBS) which is no different than if I recorded them on a DVR.

And while I do watch the local subchannels, much of that content is available with free streaming services such as Pluto TV, Tubi, Xumo, Sling TV (free tier), and others, either a stream of the very same networks, or similar content.

When I cut the cord, there were no live streaming services, and I found out real quick I could do without. Many that are cutting the cord today are finding that they don't need to pay for a live streaming service. Over half a million found that out in Q1 of this year.

I enjoy my Streaming Life. I also enjoy not spending money when I don't have to. And others are finding out the same.

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