In a development that may have implications for the future of the pay-TV business, Bloomberg reports that the number of consumers who pay to access television through cable, satellite or fiber services saw its first-ever full-year decline in 2013.
The report suggests that the dip in subscriptions — which was a small one — may indicate that the pay-TV industry is “passing its prime."
“If the slide continues in the coming years, that means 2012 was the industry’s high point,” the story notes.
The number of pay-TV customers dropped by 251,000 to about 100 million, the article reports, citing data from research firm SNL Kagan.
“It’s not that viewers are watching less video. Online-streaming services from Netflix and Amazon.com continue to draw more users with shows like ‘House of Cards,’ charging fees of less than $10 a month. What’s changed is that fewer people are willing to shell out $40 a month or more for the wider menu of cable channels,” the story points out.
The decline had been forecast by other firms, with IHS noting in August that it expected TV subscriptions to decline to 100.8 million from 100.9 million in 2013.