Published on February 7th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson


Just 5% of U.S. broadband users subscribe to a live streaming service, report says

Five percent of the adults in the U.S. with broadband internet service currently subscribe to a live streaming service like DirecTV Now or Hulu with Live TV, while eight percent have tried one of the services but canceled their subscriptions, according to the industry research company The Diffusion Group.

TDG found that among users of what the broadcast industry calls Virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributors – or vMVPDs – 23 percent indicated to plans to cancel their subscription in the next six months.

That is not good news for an industry that rarely speaks in specifics about how many customers stop subscribing – what the industry calls churn – but in vague terms acknowledge is a problem.

“More subscribers tried and canceled a vMVPD service than currently use one, undoubtedly due in large part to the absence of a contract and ease of cancellation,” said Michael Greeson, president and co-founder of TDG.

The good news is 60 percent of those surveyed said they would keep subscribing, especially when popular programs or sports events were about to be shown.

“The model encourages such behavior, so it’s not surprising to see it play out when big events occur,” Greeson commented.

But a surprising number of subscribers to live streaming services seem to be experimenting and not entirely cord cutting. TDG said 40 percent of customers to such services still subscribe to an additional cable or satellite service.

“This is taking place largely because of the fact that no contract or credit check is required, making it easier to test out virtual services even while maintaining a legacy service,” Greeson said.

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as,,,, and He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the Associated Press and United Press International.

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