New figures released by media analysts show that the growth of over-the-top (OTT) streaming services continues to outpace that of conventional cable television. That assessment was recently underscored by a report issued by comScore, an American media measurement and analytics firm which analyzes trends and data in the media industry. While comScore’s data shows tremendous growth in many of the major OTT streaming services, Netflix remains the clear leader based on number of subscribers.
However, DISH Network’s Sling TV edges out Netflix when it comes to the amount of time users spend on each service. Netflix might have more viewers, but Sling TV users watch 47 hours per month on average compared to Netflix’s 28 hours per month. Given that Sling TV offers live streams of top-tier cable channels like ESPN and Disney, that figure shouldn’t be too surprising.
According to an analysis of the comScore data by financial services site The Motley Fool, those numbers show the beginning of a trend which might end in the demise of traditional television as more consumers and providers cut the cable and switch to streaming:
As more and more OTT services become available society will naturally gravitate to a lower cost more highly personalized means of subscribing to content than traditional linear television. More choices at lower cost will attract new subscribers. Traditional television providers are preparing for change by selling off excess spectrum and agreeing to make local content part of the OTT landscape.
The numbers released by comScore show that Netflix is used by 75% of Wi-Fi connected American households who use an OTT streaming service. YouTube came in second, being used by 53% of those households, while competitors Amazon Prime and Hulu come in next with 33% and 17%, respectively. Those data leave out the 47% of Wi-Fi connected American households which do not use any streaming service. That means that all streaming services, not just Netflix, have massive potential for future growth.