The live TV market in 2017 is becoming very crowded with new services jumping in; however, two services have distinguished themselves as standouts.
According to reports from the Leichtman Research Group (LRG) both Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW added about 175,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2017. An impressive accomplishment considering over 400,000 pay-TV customers canceled their pay-TV services during the same period. (Note: No numbers have been released from PlayStation Vue, but we do know that as of March 2017 PlayStation Vue had a total of 400,000 subscribers.)
“The pay-TV market lost about 410,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2017. This marked the first time that the industry has ever had net subscriber losses in the first quarter of a year,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group. “The decline in subscribers should not be interpreted as solely driven by a sudden increase in consumers disconnecting services. The net losses are also a function of a decrease in new connects, partially due to some providers less aggressively pursuing lower value customers than in the past.”
As of right now it is reported that both PlayStation Vue and DIRECTV NOW have about 400,000 subscribers. Sling TV is said to have almost 1,500,000 subscribers and analysts expect Sling to hit 2,000,000 subscriber by the end of 2017.
The question now is how long can they keep this up. Both YouTube TV and Hulu’s live TV beta service have launched. Comcast, Centurylink, Verizon, and others all have live TV streaming services in the works. As the market gets more crowded it will likely force both DIRECTV NOW and Sling TV to become more competitive.
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