A small, but significant problem future problem is the apparently-growing number of younger consumers who have never bought a video service or a fixed-line phone service, and say they don’t see the need for such services.
For the moment, consumers seem mostly to be augmenting traditional video subscriptions with other alternatives.
Among all U.S. subscribers to television-services, 27 percent also subscribe to Netflix, while almost half (46 percent) also pay for a premium movie channel or sports channel, according to NPD Group.
Nearly a quarter of television-service subscribers (24 percent) watched movies using both paid and free video-on-demand from their providers.
One might conclude from those numbers that Netflix is a functional substitute for premium video channels, as is video on demand. So far, it does not appear that any provider has come with anything like a functional substitute for sports channel programming.
Comcast led other companies in the percentage of their subscribers who use VOD (41 percent), followed by Verizon (38 percent), and Time-Warner Cable (20 percent).
“There may also be too much emphasis on so-called ‘cord cutters’ who represent a small group, as opposed to potential ‘cord throttlers,’ who are a massive segment of the subscribing population,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president and entertainment analyst for NPD Group.NPD study
About 73 percent of consumers who used Netflix, streamed video for free, or who paid for Internet-video downloads and rentals also have a cable, satellite, or IPTV subscription, the study suggests.
With a mean age of 37, “over the top” video viewers are five years younger than the average cable TV viewer; this group also includes more students who may be viewing on small screens in their bedrooms and dorm rooms.