vMVPD Users Definitely Not Cord-Nevers: Only 15% Previously Had No Pay TV

Leichtman Research Group study finds that 43% of current U.S. virtual MVPD customers switched over from linear service
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Disproving perhaps once and for all the notion that virtual pay TV services are niche products targeted to broadband-only users, Leichtman Research Group says 43% of vMVPD users switched directly over from traditional cable, satellite or telco services.

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LRG found that 17% switched to their current vMVPD platform from another virtual service, while 25% also have a linear platform. Only 15% of current live-streamed pay TV services were previously non-subscribers of any pay-TV product.

LRG based its “Internet-Delivered Pay-TV 2019” report based on online surveys with 6,715 U.S. households.

The research company also found that 71% of U.S. vMVPD consumers are in the 18-44 demographic. Overall, 16% of U.S. adults ages 18-44 subscribe to a live-streamed service like Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Hulu+ Live TV, YouTube TV or Sony PlayStation Vue. Only 6% of U.S. consumers 45 or older subscribe to a vMVPD.

Around 42% of vMVPD users are ages 18-34 vs. 26% for linear pay TV, LRG said.

Among all U.S. vMVPD customers, 73% describe themselves as very satisfied wi their service.

Around 93% of with vMVPD service also subscribe to one of the major SVOD platforms, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and/or Hulu, compared to just 71% for traditional pay TV homes.

Notably, vMVPD users tend to be more mobile centric than customers of major SVOD platforms.

According to LRG, vMVPD users watch their service in their home 78% of the time, compared to 82% for HBO Now and 88% for Netflix.

“vMVPD services were first introduced about four years ago, and the market for these lower-cost/lower-channel pay-TV services is still growing and evolving,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “Consumers continue to experiment with the various vMVPD services, along with other traditional and streaming options, to find the best combinations of video content and cost.”

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