As Streaming Services Rise, HBO and Showtime See Decline In Subscribers

Premium networks penetrated 32% of homes in 2013, down from 38% two years prior.

As video-on-demand streaming services like Netflix continue to gain popularity, premium TV channels are seeing a decline in household subscriptions.

NPD Group's State of SVOD report found that HBO, Showtime, and other premium networks penetrated 32% of homes in the U.S. as of August 2013, down from 38% two years prior. During this same period, household subscriptions to on-demand streaming services rose to 27% from 23%. This graph is a bit foreboding:

The firm says Netflix continues to lead by subscriptions, but Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime are seeing fast growth with consumers adding on secondary services. Meanwhile, digital video transactions, which NPD classifies as purchases and individual paid rentals, reached 70% of home-video transaction in 2013, up 3 percentage points from the year prior.

Update: NPD has temporarily pulled the video report from its website as premium networks HBO, Showtime, and Starz dispute its accuracy. HBO says it added 1.9 million subscribers in 2012 and expects comparable growth in 2013. Showtime notes it has grown its subscriber base by 1 million households annually in six of the last seven years, and Starz says it added 1.2 million subscribers in the last 12 months.

[Image: Flickr user MattHurst]

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  • The report wasn't pulled "temporarily" - it was pulled... It was completely inaccurate. Yet this ludicrous story remains published, with only an "update".

  • This article is SPOT ON! I kept looking at my satellite bill and decided to give my provider the boot! It didn't make sense to pay for channels I'm not interested in and to experience the unreliability involved in contract negotiations between my satellite provider and the video content provider i.e., Nicoledeon, Discovery, MTV etc. There agreements aren't my problem with the monthly bill going higher and higher.

    I now stream EXCLUSIVELY, Hulu+, Netflix and Amazon Prime. I watch WHATEVER I want and watch again IF I want without additional cost. Welcome to the new way to watch television.