78% of U.S. TV households subscribe to a pay-TV service

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 
Leichtman Research Group logo

78% of TV Households Subscribe to a Pay-TV Service

  • Pay-TV Penetration Varies Across Age Groups

DURHAM, NH — New consumer research from Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) finds that about 78% of TV households nationwide subscribe to some form of pay-TV service. The percentage of TV households that subscribe to a pay-TV service is down from 86% in 2013, 87% in 2008, and 81% in 2004.

In TV households, 70% of adults ages 18-44 and 84% of ages 45+ subscribe to a pay-TV service. Comparatively, in 2013, 83% of adults ages 18-44 and 88% of ages 45+ had a pay-TV service.

These findings are based on a telephone survey of 1,152 households from throughout the United States, and are part of a new LRG study, Pay-TV in the U.S. 2018. This is LRG’s sixteenth annual study of this topic.

Other related findings include:

  • 32% of those that moved in the past year do not currently subscribe to a pay-TV service – a higher level than in previous years
  • 44% using one TV at home are non-subscribers – compared to 23% using two TVs, and 12% using three or more TVs
  • 27% of TV households with annual incomes < $50,000 do not subscribe to a pay-TV service, compared to 20% with annual incomes >$50,000
  • Overall, about 7% of TV households last subscribed to a pay-TV service in the past three years, 7% last subscribed to a pay-TV service over three years ago, and about 8% never subscribed to a pay-TV service
  • Mean reported monthly spending on pay-TV service among subscribers is about $107 – an increase of 1% in the past year

“About 78% of households that use a TV currently subscribe to a pay-TV service, yet pay-TV subscriptions are not consistent across demographic group,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “The penetration of pay-TV among younger individuals and related groups, including renters, singles, and movers, has declined at a faster pace in recent years, expanding demographic divides in pay-TV.”

Links: Leichtman Research Group