Cord cutting continues to play havoc with the subscriber counts at the top players in the pay TV industry, including Comcast. In fact, some analysts predict the tech giant’s losses because of cord cutters to more than double this year. Other companies, especially the satellite providers DirecTV and Dish, suffer from a similar subscriber loss.
News about the Comcast cord cutting losses appeared this week in DSLReports among other sources. Let’s take a closer look at the details to see if this industry shakeup affects your own family’s home Internet or digital TV services.
The Comcast Immunity from Cord Cutters Fades?
ISP industry analysts noted Comcast’s previous immunity from cord cutting due to their status as both a provider of both Internet service and digital TV. The company actually benefited from customers leaving satellite TV service in favor of a bundled package with Comcast. Other companies, like Spectrum and AT&T, enjoyed a similar boost.
Now it appears those halcyon days are over, as cord cutters are leaving Comcast in increasing numbers. UBS analyst John Hodulik noted that “We now expect Comcast to lose 400,000 video subscribers in 2018 (previous estimate negative 320,000) while video revenue will fall 1.4%.”
As a comparison, the company only lost 150,000 video subscribers in 2017. This updated prediction from UBS actually shows a subscriber loss almost three times as much as last year. Naturally, the stock analyst firm lowered Comcast target price from $49 per share to $47.
AT&T and Verizon also expected to lose Subscribers
Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and other providers apparently aren’t immune to the latest cord cutting news. UBS predicts video subscriber losses for both in 2018. At the same time, companies with streaming services – including many of the same firms currently losing cord cutters – are seeing an uptick in customer sign-ups.
Hodulik predicts the number of streaming service subscribers to increase by two-thirds in 2018. It’s expected to grow to 15 million subscribers by the end of the decade; accounting for 16 percent of the subscription TV market. Customers now subscribe to most popular streaming services including AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Dish Network’s Sling TV, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and Google’s premium YouTube offering.
With more users opting for streaming TV services instead of cable TV or satellite, the importance of ISP performance grows. This is the case where you use a smart TV or another streaming device like a Roku. Make sure you regularly run an Internet speed test to ensure you are receiving the bandwidth and performance deemed in your contract.
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