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Cord-cutting report: Streaming services will be 25% of the pay-TV market by 2023

Cord-cutting report: Streaming services will be 25% of the pay-TV market by 2023
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UBS is increasing its outlook for streaming TV services such as Sling TV and DirecTV Now, estimating that such services will make up 25% of the pay-TV market in five years. Meanwhile, UBS expects traditional TV subscriptions to decline 4.1% over the next year alone.

Here are some other takeaways from UBS’s report:

  • Although Google hasn’t disclosed subscriber numbers for YouTube TV, UBS estimates that the service has 750,000 subscribers after one year. That would put it just behind Hulu (800,000 subscribers), which launched around the same time. Sling TV remains in the lead with 2.3 million subscribers after three years, and DirecTV Now is catching up with 1.5 million subscribers in 16 months. PlayStation Vue still has just 700,000 subscribers after three years.
  • A survey by UBS found that one in three respondents were likely or very likely to subscribe to a streaming TV bundle. (Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV were the top two potential picks among these respondents, suggesting that they’ll play catch up with their rivals over time.)
  • Oddly enough, UBS found that 91% of respondents had both traditional TV service and a streaming TV service two years ago. It’s possible that many of those subscribers were hanging onto basic TV service to access broadcast channels or preserve a bundle deal with internet service. The rate of double-dipping has since fallen to 61% as more streaming TV services provide local channels.
  • Despite the growth of streaming TV services, UBS expects total pay-TV subscriptions to decline by 1.6% over the next five years.
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