Dual Pay-TV & SVOD Subscriber Households Continue to Grow

December 18, 2020

LRG Video Service Distribution 2020 v 2019 Dec2020The gap between pay-TV and subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services has widened. While in 2019, the proportion of households with SVOD services and pay-TV subscriptions was nearly at parity, the share of households with SVOD services only (20%) has surpassed that of pay-TV-only households (14%) in 2020. This is according to research from the Leichtman Research Group (LRG).

Per LRG’s data, the share of households that have both pay-TV and at least one SVOD service has risen. The survey of 2,000 US adults shows that 6 in 10 TV households currently have both services. This is up from last year, when 54% of households had both Pay-TV and SVOD services.

Broken down even further, 79% of traditional pay-TV subscribers (cable, satellite or telco) also subscribe to an SVOD service, while a full 96% of households who receive live pay-TV through an internet-delivered vMVPD (eg. Slingo or Hulu + Live TV) have an SVOD service, as well.

It’s safe to say that this lift in households with both services is not due to growth in pay-TV subscriptions, which continues to decline. Indeed, LRG reports that about one-quarter (74%) of US TV households have a pay-TV subscription, down from 79% in 2019 and 88% a decade ago.

By contrast, LRG’s data indicates that 8 in 10 US TV households now have an SVOD service. This is similar to separate data from June, which indicated that some 8 in 10 (78%) US households reported having at least one SVOD service such as Netflix or Hulu, up from 74% in 2019.

This latest survey also shows that, for some households, moving has led to cord-cutting, with close to two-fifths (38%) of those who moved in the past year saying they do not subscribe to a pay-TV service.

The Difference Age Makes

There is a fairly distinct difference between older and younger viewers when it comes to TV services. Older adults are more likely to subscribe to pay-TV services, with 81% of adults ages 55 and older and 77% of 35-54-year-olds doing so compared to 63% of adults ages 18-34.

Furthermore, while adults ages 18-34 account for 46% of SVOD-only households, they only make up 27% of households with both pay-TV and SVOD.

About the Data: 2020 findings are based on a September-October survey of 2,000 US adults (18+).

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