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Published on November 17th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson


Live TV viewing growth switches to stream-connected devices

Consumers are spending less time watching live broadcasts on their television sets but live viewing on internet-connected like Apple TV devices is on the rise, according to a new industry study.

“While live over-the-air and pay-TV broadcasts have experienced waning viewership, live video is experiencing a resurgence online,” the whitepaper Video’s Critical Path: Success at Web Speed states from analytics research company Parks Associates.

“Online pay-TV services that offer online access to linear channels and live sports have quickly accumulated subscribers, particularly in the U.K. and U.S. markets. Live sports are also emerging in other (streaming service) offerings, such as direct-to-consumer services in ESPN+ and DAZN, as well as Facebook-based streaming of matches from Eleven Sports and others.”

In 2012, live viewing accounted for 60 percent of content consumption on television sets. That number had now dropped to 44 percent by the end of 2017.

“While (live streaming and video-on-demand services have) significantly changed viewing patterns among consumers, live video is far from dead,” said Brett Sappington, senior director of research at Parks Associates. “We still see massive spikes in viewership for live events. However, an increasing amount of live viewership is on connected devices. Change does not come easily, but the scale of disruption in the video industry requires traditional pay-TV providers to address their business and service strategies in a new way. New strategies include delivering video to mobile phones and transitioning live video to online sources.”

The report also found that cancellation of live streaming and video-on-demand services is steady at 18 percent. More than 85 percent of American millennials have at least one OTT subscription. And by 2022, more than 265 million households worldwide will have more than 400 million OTT video service subscriptions.

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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 AOL, the BBC, Associated Press, and United Press International.

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