If there was any doubt that traditional satellite and cable plans are on the decline, earlier this year, cord cutting hit an all-time high after more than one million subscribers ditched their services in just one quarter.
The news comes from telecom research firm MoffettNathanson, which examined Q3 earnings reports from all the major providers and found the loss of traditional subs hugely outpaced new subscribers and the rise of homegrown over-the-top TV services, such as DirecTV Now and Sling TV (a subsidiary of Dish).
Satellite providers were hit especially hard. DirecTV and Dish Networking combined lost 726,000 subscribers, while only signing up around 75,000 new streaming TV users.
On the cable side of things, while Comcast lost the largest number of video subscribers at around 106,000, it seems to have made up for that by adding 363,000 broadband internet accounts.
According to MoffetNathanson, an increase in the number of new households has also disguised the full impact of recent cord cutters. That’s because new households often start out as cable subscribers, which bolsters sub counts temporarily, before users cut traditional TV servers later on.
For anyone who’s been paying attention the plight of traditional TV services, this news probably doesn’t come as a surprise. With the continued rapid rise of average cable TV prices and the prevalence of services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, more and more people are opting for internet-only packages supplemented by streaming video apps.
On top of that, Traditional TV companies are also facing increased competition from the likes of YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, and PlayStation Vue, which together represent 2.3 million of the 6.3 million total reported over-the-top streaming TV subscribers.
At this point, it’s clear streaming is the future of TV. What we don’t know is which companies will be able to successfully survive that transition, and which ones won’t.