US Pay TV & Online Video Consumers: Q1 2018

September 04, 2018  | Subscribers Only

Fateha Begum Fateha Begum Associate Director, Connected Devices & Media Consumption
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This report focuses on the impact of OTT services and connected devices on video subscriptions in the US. We will analyse consumption behaviours and drivers of three consumer groups; cord-shavers, cord-cutters ad cord-nevers.

The analysis builds on latest findings from the Connected Devices & Media Consumption consumer surveys, focusing on a sample of 2,401 nationally representative US of internet users.


  • Cord-shavers, representing a third of US pay TV households, are in fact ‘content-hungry’ consumers, using OTT to top up their pay TV subscription, primarily for access to exclusive or original content.
  • Connected device penetration is lower amongst cord-shavers than non-cord shaving pay TV households, although they are more likely to connect their devices to the primary TV set and less likely to turn to their set-top box first when looking for something to watch highlighting them as a churn risk to pay TV.
  • Cord-cutters moving to OTT subscription only are identified as cost-conscious consumers. They are twice as likely to subscribe to virtual pay TV services such as Sling TV and YouTube TV than those with an existing pay TV and OTT subscription.
  • Digital media streamers from Amazon and Roku are the most common devices connected to the primary TV set  in cord-cutting households moving to OTT only. Cord-cutters are four times as likely to connect a Fire TV device to their primary device than all pay TV households, and nearly 6 times more likely to connect a Roku Stick.
  • The report also looked into the device ownership and consumption behaviours of households that subscribe to OTT video service but have never had a pay TV subscription. These consumers are found to have a preference towards mobile devices in terms of penetration and video consumption. They are less likely to stack video services and more likely to have specific content in mind when looking for content.
  • Cord-nevers have a lower propensity to spend on devices and video services, with dedicated video streaming device ownership largely driven by gifting or promotional offers. This group would be a key target for device manufacturers bundling content services.

 List of tables and charts:

  • Cord Cutters by Country
  • Average number of OTT video subscriptions by country
  • Population make up by video subscription status
  • Cord-shavers as percentage of pay TV base
  • Cord-shavers: Average number of OTT subscriptions
  • Cord-shavers: Penetration of OTT video services
  • Cord-shavers: Use of free OTT services
  • Cord-shavers: Use of pay TV features
  • Breakdown of TV cancellations by operator
  • Cord-cutters (OTT only): Penetration of OTT subscription video services
  • Cord-cutters (OTT only): Penetration of connected devices
  • Cord-cutters (OTT only): Devices Connected to Primary TV Set
  • Cord-nevers (OTT only): Penetration of connected devices
  • Cord-nevers (OTT only): Penetration of OTT subscription video services
  • Make up of US households by video status
  • TV Households, Pay TV Subscribers and Penetration

Number of Pages: 11 

Number of Tables and Charts: 16

Fateha Begum

Associate Director, Connected Devices & Media Consumption

Fateha Begum is an associate director of the Service Providers & Platforms team at IHS Markit, and heads research in the area of connected devices and media consumption trends.

Research by Market
Media & Advertising
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