The traditional pay-TV universe will continue to shrink, according to the latest projections by Kagan, a unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Kagan projects that by 2021, the number of traditional multichannel subscribers will fall by 10.8 million households to 82.3 million.
At the same time, the number of households choosing to get their video programming from virtual services—such as Sling TV, PlayStation Vue and other, newer competitors—will reach nearly 11 million households.
By 2021, the number of households relying only on over-the-top delivery of self-aggregated online content will hit 18 million, equal to 14% of occupied households, according to Kagan.
“Changing viewing habits point to mounting losses for traditional video services, and challengers are lining up to capitalize,” said Ian Olgeirson, research director for S&P Global Market Intelligence. “However, the operators are not without significant fortifications enabling expectations for preserving a majority share in the five-year outlook.”