Live over-the-top (OTT) streaming TV services are still enjoyed mostly by the young.

Young U.S. adults, aged 18-44 now account for 71% of subscribers to one of the live streaming vMVPD pay-TV services such as Sling TV, DirecTV NOW, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, or PlayStation Vue, according to data collected by the Leichtman Research Group (LRG).

In total, 16% of U.S. 18-44 year-olds currently have a virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (vMVPD) service subscription – compared to 6% of those 45 and older, the study found.

Of those that currently get a vMVPD service, 43% switched directly from a traditional (cable, satellite, or telco-TV) pay-TV service, and 25% continue to keep a traditional pay-TV service. In addition, 17% said they most immediately switched from another vMVPD service, while another 15% were most recently not subscribed to any type of pay-TV service.

The findings in the latest installment of the Internet-Delivered Pay-TV Services 2019 report were based on an online survey of 6,715 households across the U.S. from throughout the United States.

Bruce Leichtman, LRG president and principal, stated, “vMVPD services were first introduced about four years ago, and the market for these lower-cost/lower-channel pay-TV services is still growing and evolving. Consumers continue to experiment with the various vMVPD services, along with other traditional and streaming options, to find the best combinations of video content and cost.”

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Among current vMVPD subscribers, 43% said they ditched a traditional pay-TV (cable, satellite, or telco-TV) provider before signing up and 25% said the still maintain a traditional pay-TV account, while 17% said they switched from a another vMVPD service before adding their current service, and 15% of current vMVPD customers previously did not subscribe to a pay-TV service of any kind.

The report also found the following:

  • 42% with a vMVPD service are ages 18-34 – compared to 26 per cent of traditional pay-TV subscribers, and 33 per cent of pay-TV non-subscribers in TV households.
  • vMVPD subscribers have a mean annual household income similar to traditional pay-TV subscribers, and 33% higher than TV household without a subscription TV service.
  • 73% of vMVPD subscribers are very satisfied with their service – but, 20% said they are very likely to switch from a vMVPD service in the next six months.
  • 93% of vMVPD service subscribers also have an over-the-top (OTT) SVoD service from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and/or Hulu – compared to 71% of traditional pay-TV subscribers, and 74% of non-subscribers in TV households.
  • vMVPD subscribers watch these services at home 78% of the time – compared to 82% for those watching HBO NOW, and 88% watching Netflix at home.
  • 24% of those who don’t subscribe to a vMVPD service said they are very interested in getting one.


By Greg Tarr


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