Traditional Pay TV still reaches more than 70% of U.S. homes, but like leftovers from last week, people are noticing the stink. It’s just not what it use to be; its doesn’t taste the same, the substance is lacking, and there’s fresh originals cooking in the oven. According to an eMarketer Report, at the end of 2017, there will be 22.2 million cord-cutters ages 18 and older, a figure much higher than the 15.4 million eMarketer previously predicted.
“Younger audiences continue to switch to either exclusively watching [OTT] video or watching them in combination with free-TV options,” said Chris Bendtsen, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer. “Last year, even the Olympics and [the U.S.] presidential election could not prevent younger audiences from abandoning pay TV.”
But as tasteless as these leftovers are becoming for younger audiences, there is someone who doesn’t want them thrown away — Grandma and Grandpa–they love them. According to a recently released study from Tivo, baby boomers make up over half of the long term (4 years or more) pay-TV subscribers in the U.S.. And, according to eMarketer, the number of pay-TV viewers 55 and older will continue to rise over the next four years, while for every other generation the subscriber base will decline.
Overall, 196.3 million U.S. adults will have traditional pay TV (cable, satellite or telco) this year, but that number will fall to 181.7 million by 2021, a decline of nearly 10% from 2016. By 2021, the number of cord-cutters is expected to nearly equal the number of people who have never had pay TV — a total of 81 million U.S. adults.
In addition, this year, U.S. TV ad investment will expand just 0.5% to $71.65 billion. TV’s share of total media ad spending in the US will drop to 34.9%, and is expected to fall below 30% by 2021.