By Evan DeSimone
Pay television is losing subscribers in the U.S. to the tune of 479,000 in the second quarter of 2015 according to a report by Strategy Analytics.
The report, titled “Digital Television Operator Performance Benchmarking: North America,” tracked the top twenty pay TV providres in North America in a survey that accounted for approximately 95% of the existing market. Canadian operators posted more modest losses, dropping approximately 53,000 paid subscriptions over the last quarter. Digital platforms also felt the losses with U.S.-based operators losing 62,000 subscribers, while Canadian platforms dropped by 9,000.
The news isn’t all grim. While subscriber numbers have declined throughout 2015, the average revenue per subscriber is gradually climbing creating an opportunity for providers. Dish Network reported a decline of 81,000 users last quarter, but it’s average revenue per user also increased by 2.5% between quarters and 4.5% from over the previous year. DirecTV, Charter, and Time Warner reported similar growth
Dish Network was able to offset some of its losses with the growth of its OTT service, Sling TV. Jason Blackwell who heads service provider strategies for Stategy Analytics believes that this points the way to an OTT opportunity for other providers feeling the sting of falling users numbers.
“Verizon will debut its OTT service this year, along with Comcast and CenturyLink” Blackwell said in a statement the accompanied the report, Although nothing has been announced, AT&T is predicted to roll out an OTT video service, and the company is uniquely positioned to tie that into a variety of nationwide bundles that could also include fixed or mobile broadband, satellite TV, and wireless phone service.”