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20% Of U.S. Homes Still Use An Antenna

Park Associates released a new study surrounding the continued use of television antennas in U.S. homes. According to the study, 20% of U.S. homes use digital over-the-air antennas to get their television content. Given the prevalence of streaming services like Amazon, Netflix and Hulu, these numbers are surprisingly high.

To put that 20% in perspective, in 2015 only 16% of U.S. homes were actively using digital over-the-air antennas. Park Associates did make it clear that this growth is in line with the analyst predictions given the current rate of decline of traditional pay-TV services.

Brett Sappington, senior director of research at Parks Associates, wrote about this studies findings in a release, pointing out that “…consumers are cobbling together their own bundles of content sources. Digital antennas are experiencing a resurgence as consumers consider over-the-air TV and OTT video services as alternatives to pay TV… The percentage of ‘Never’ households (households that have never subscribed to pay-TV services) has held steady, and the percentage of households actually cutting the cord has increased between 2015 and 2017. Antennas are an affordable source for local channels to these households.”.

A big reason for this is the value perception gap that exists with the pay-TV market. Most consumers find that the high cost of traditional pay-TV just isn’t worth it when cheaper alternatives like OTT and streaming services exist. As such, the onus falls on pay-TV providers to try to entice consumers back. What’s the best way to do that? No one seems to have found the magic formula yet, but one thing is clear–something needs to change.

“Opportunities are available. Only 46% of pay-TV subscribers are aware that they can access video-on-demand content from their operator, including free programming. Many indicate that they want to purchase online video services through their pay-TV provider and to access the service through their channel guide” said Sappington in a release.


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