During a recent conference Netflix CEO Reed Hastings perceived that linear TV (basically cable and satellite services) would start to decline in viewership and that in the next two decades Internet TV would take over. Well the results as of late make his predictions appear to be true. Netflix (find jobs at Netflix) shares have soared 70% this year as the video streaming leader has topped subscriber growth expectations twice; it added nearly 2.28 million domestic members in its most recent quarter, representing nearly 20% growth from the previous year.
People’s relationship with traditional TV has gradually been changing; millennials have been decreasing Linear TV consumption, which dropped by 20% last year. According to media research firm Moffett Nathanson, pay-TV subscriptions fell by 31,000 in the first quarter. The first set of data on pay-TV subscriptions for the year has come in, showing that the industry is declining faster than thought.
It’s a cord-cutting revolution which appears to be accelerating. Pay-TV subscriptions fell by 95,000 in 2013 and increased to 125,000 in 2014. About 150,000 pay-TV customers canceled video service in the three months that ended June 30, according to estimates published on Friday by Leichtman Research Group. It could be possible this year the losses could be well beyond a million. Traditional TV viewing hours have also plummeted by about 10%, an indication that consumers are letting go of cable and satellite TV but still paying for them.
These kind of figures should create more competitors like HBO (find jobs at HBO) and Showtime (find jobs at Showtime) to start cutting their cords to offer more streaming options; which will only increase the speed of American consumers to do the same. Take for instance Hulu recently purchasing the entire Seinfeld series and a promise to juice up its original programming in the same fashion that Amazon.com has done with its Golden Globe winner program Transparent and a new TV show created by Woody Allen.
Here are some interesting stats — the 13 biggest pay-TV services in the U.S., which account for about 95% of the market, reach 95.3 million U.S. homes with a pay-TV service, according to Leichtman’s estimates. Time Warner Cable (find jobs at Time Warner) lost the most with 182,000 defections, followed by Comcast with 81,000, according to Leichtman. Comcast, the biggest cable company in the U.S., is seeking permission from regulators to buy Time Warner Cable, the industry’s second-biggest, for $45 billion.
AT&T, with its U‑verse fiber-optic TV service, picked up the most subscribers with 216,000 new customers, Leichtman said. AT&T is seeking permission to buy satellite-TV provider DirecTV, which lost 28,000 subscribers, for $48.5 billion. It seems like now is the time to be seeking a media job with a streaming video company. If you’re already in a linear TV job, perhaps you need to rethink your future.