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Cable TV subscriptions set to drop below 50% of all US households

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Cable TV subscriptions set to drop below 50% of all US households

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Fewer than half of all U.S. households will have a cable TV subscription by 2023, according to a new study. The study, by Insider Intelligence, expects the total number of pay TV households to drop to 65.1 million, a 4.8% decrease from 2022. That is 49.5% of all U.S. households.

This continues the cord cutting trend that’s hit cable very hard. From 2016 to 2021, pay TV has lost more than 50 million adult viewers (or 25.5 million households). The most unsettling news for cable companies: The steepest drop came in 2020, when more people than ever were stuck home, which saw a 7.7% drop.

Many people are turning to virtual multichannel video programming distributors (vMVPDs), like Hulu and YouTubeTV. By the end of 2022, 15 million households will subscribe to a vMVPD, up 7.6% from 2021 and representing 11.4% of all US households. That said, this growth will not be enough to offset the decline of pay TV. In 2022, 63.2% of all households will have either pay TV or a vMVPD, but this figure will decline to 54.8% in 2026.

Why we care: Getting your marketing mix right is always a challenge. While TV is still big, it continues to shrink. Further, it’s clear the public is turning away from cable and on-line multi-channel providers. This means fewer chances to get big tent audiences and more emphasis on sharp targeting in other channels.  

Related: How to use QR codes to leverage CTV and cross-channel campaigns


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About The Author

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

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How to avoid digital pollution and focus on your audience

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Content

Has content become a dirty word? Join Ed Breault, CMO of Aprimo, to talk about the ultimate necessity of content operations to deal with digital pollution both at the macro and the micro levels so your organizations can rethink how you plan, create, manage and deliver remarkable customer experiences that scale.

Register today for “Has ‘Content’ Become a Dirty Word?” presented by Aprimo.


Click here to view more MarTech webinars.


About The Author

Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for CNBC.com and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.

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