OTT Access Revenue Grew 37% in 2021. Battle for the American Couch Potato report predicts OTT subscriber additions will shrink from 80 million in 2022 to 50 million in 2024
Convergence Research Group estimated that over-the-top revenue in the U.S. rose 37% in 2021 to $39.4 billion and is expected to nearly double to $69 billion by 2024, as subscriber additions, about 80 million this year, should level off to 50 million by 2024.
According to its just-released report — The Battle for the American Couch Potato, which analyzed more than 75 OTT services (and over 50 providers) including Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Warner Bros. Discovery — Convergence said it expected U.S. OTT revenue to rise about 30% to $51 billion in 2022.
At the same time, revenue and subscribers for traditional linear TV will continue their steady decline. Convergence said U.S. cable, satellite and telco TV access revenue fell 4% in 2021 to $91 billion, and should drop another 6% to $85.5 in billion in 2022, with further slippage in 2023 and 2024. Total U.S. TV subscribers dipped by 6.5 million in 2021, about the same as 2020, according to Convergence. That number should pick up to a loss of 7 million subscribers in 2022 and 7.2 million in 2024.
The percentage of cord cutter/never households also should increase. Convergence estimated that 47% of U.S. households did not have a TV subscription with a cable, satellite or telco TV provider in 2021, rising to 53% in 2022 and 64% by 2024.
Broadband customer growth is continuing to slow — Convergence estimated that about 3.7 million high-speed internet subscribers were added in 2021, down from 5.1 million in 2020, while revenue grew 10% to $79.6 billion. The researcher predicts that total broadband subscriber additions will tick up to 4.3 million (with a 7% revenue boost) as telco and fixed wireless additions improve, offsetting any sluggishness on the cable side.■
By Mike Farrell