Streaming Subscription Audience Has Surpassed Pay-TV Subscribers In U.S., Claims Survey

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It’s been about two years since America’s major cable companies started seeing their internet service customers outnumber their pay-TV subscribers, and now a new survey claims that streaming video subscriptions in the U.S. have overtaken cable and satellite subscriptions.

This is according to the Consumer Technology Association — formerly the Consumer Electronics Association, the huge trade group behind CES International and other shows — which says that the results of its latest study show that 68% of Americans are subscribed to some sort of streaming video service, putting it a hair’s breadth ahead of the 67% of the country subscribed to a pay-TV package.

Further demonstrating an apparent shift away from traditional TV viewing, the CTA says that American consumers are now spending almost as much time watching video on non-TV devices (phones, computers, tablets) as they are on their television sets. According to the report, we only spend a slim majority (51%) of of our video-watching time looking at ye olde HDTV set; that’s down from 62% only five years ago.

Speaking of the time we spend watching video, that’s going up. According to the CTA, the average American watched 16.8 hours of TV a week in 2016, an increase of 32% from the average of 12.7 hours in 2011.

“More and more consumers are embracing the freedom of connectivity,” said Steve Koenig, senior director of market research, CTA. “In this case, the anytime/anywhere access to video content. This is one of the driving trends of our time. Today’s advancement of technology delivers ‘content convenience’ that results in cultural changes such as binge watching, second screen behavior, content recommendations and the screens consumers use to consume video. And we expect streaming subscribers to surpass paid TV services – and by a fair margin – in the next year or so.”