Leichtman: Broadband Providers Added 3.5 Million Subs in 2023

The nation’s largest cable, satellite and telecom providers — representing about 96% of the market — added more than 3.5 million high-speed internet subscribers in 2023, on par with the net gain of broadband subs in 2022, according to new data from Leichtman Research.

The broadband providers account for about 114.7 million subscribers, with cable TV operators representing 76.1 million broadband subs, telecoms more than 30.7 million subs, and fixed wireless services 7.8 million subs.

Cable operators lost about 65,000 subs in 2023, compared to about 530,000 net adds in 2022. Phone companies lost about 80,000 broadband subs compared to about 180,000 net losses in 2022.

Wireline telecoms added almost 2 million net subs via fiber, offset by about 2.05 million non-fiber net losses. Fixed wireless/5G home internet services from T-Mobile and Verizon added about 3.7 million broadband subs compared to about 3.2 million net adds in 2022.

Fixed wireless services accounted for 104% of the total broadband additions, compared to 90% of the net adds in 2022, and 20% of the net adds in 2021

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“Over the past four years, top providers added about 15.9 million broadband subscribers, compared to about 10.2 million net broadband adds in the prior four (pre-pandemic) years,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement.

Broadband Providers Subscribers at end of 2023 Net Adds in 2023
Cable Companies    
Comcast 32.25 million (66,000)
Charter 30.6 million 155,000
Altice 4.5 million (114,100)
Cable One 1.05 million (1,100)
Breezeline 663,286 (29,184)
Other major private companies 7 million (8,000)
Total Top Cable 76.1 million (63,384)
Wireline Phone Companies    
AT&T 15.3 million (98,000)
Verizon 7.7 million 166,000
Frontier^ 2.9 million 75,000
Lumen 2.8 million (279,000)
Windstream** 1.2 million 0
TDS 539,800 29,800
Consolidated 393,219 25,761
Total Top Wireline Phone 30.7 million (80,439)
Fixed Wireless Services    
T-Mobile 4.8 million 2.13 million
Verizon^ 3 million 1.54 million
Total Top Fixed Wireless 7.8 million 3.7 million
Total Top Broadband 114.7 million 3.5 million
Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group

Research: 840,000 Consumers Added Broadband in the Second Quarter

After a brief decline, the largest cable and wireless telecom services in the U.S. — representing about 96% of the market — added about 840,000 net additional high-speed internet (broadband) subscribers in the second quarter (ended June 30), compared with a pro forma gain of about 700,000 subscribers in the previous-year period, according to new data from Leichtman Research Group.

These top broadband providers now account for over 112.9 million subscribers, with top cable companies having about 76.2 million broadband subscribers, top wireline phone companies having about 30.7 million subscribers, and top fixed wireless services having about 5.9 million subscribers.

Leichtman found that overall, broadband additions in 2Q 2023 were 120% of those in 2Q 2022. The top cable companies added about 10,000 subscribers in 2Q 2023 — compared with a loss of about 60,000 in 2Q 2022.

The top wireline phone companies lost about 60,000 total broadband subscribers in 2Q 2023 — similar to about 60,000 net losses in 2Q 2022. Wireline Telcos had about 450,000 net adds via fiber in 2Q 2023, and about 510,000 non-fiber net losses.

Fixed wireless/5G home Internet services from T-Mobile and Verizon added about 890,000 subscribers in 2Q — compared to 815,000 net adds in 2Q 2022.

“Fixed wireless services have acquired more than 800,000 net [subs] in each of the past five quarters, accounting for about 4.45 million net adds in that period,” said analyst Bruce Leichtman.

Broadband Providers Subscribers at end of 2Q 2023 Net Adds in 2Q 2023
Cable Companies    
Comcast 32,305,000 (19,000)
Charter 30,586,000 77,000
Altice 4,576,100 (36,600)
Cable One 1,057,900 (5,100)
Breezeline 680,785 (6,734)
Other major private companies 7,035,000 0
Total Top Cable 76,240,785 9,566
Wireline Phone Companies    
AT&T 15,304,000 (41,000)
Verizon 7,562,000 34,000
Lumen 2,909,000 (72,000)
Frontier 2,865,000 2,000
Windstream^ 1,175,000 0
TDS 523,600 8,200
Consolidated 376,829 6,967
Total Top Wireline Phone 30,715,429 (61,833)
Fixed Wireless Services    
T-Mobile 3,678,000 509,000
Verizon 2,260,000 384,000
Total Top Fixed Wireless 5,938,000 893,000
Total Top Broadband 112,894,214 840,733

Leichtman: 2023 U.S. Household SVOD Subscription Growth Flat

About 83% of all U.S. households have a subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service from Netflix, Prime Video, and/or Hulu, unchanged from 2022, but up 5% from 78% in 2020, 69% in 2018, and 52% in 2015, according to new data from Leichtman Research Group. At the same time, the aforementioned services’ market percentage is declining.

Twelve additional streaming video services account for an incremental 5% of all households with at least one SVOD or streaming service beyond the top three. This brings the total to 88% of all households with a streaming video service — compared to 82% in 2020. And, 53% of all households have four or more services — compared to 33% in 2020.

These findings are based on a survey of 2,101 households nationwide and are part of a new LRG study, Emerging Video Services 2023.

Specifically, the mean number of SVOD/streaming services in all households is 4.1 — compared with 2.9 in 2020. The mean number of services among ages 18-44 is 5.1 — compared with 3.7 among ages 45-64, and 2.2 among ages 65+.

About 42% of all adults stream a top SVOD service daily — compared with 41% in 2021, 30% in 2018, and 16% in 2015. Consumers 18-44 account for 59% of adults using SVOD daily.

Another 57% of adults watch video on non-TV devices (including mobile phones, home computers, tablets) daily — compared with 54% in 2021, 46% in 2018, and 33% in 2015. About 81% of ages 18-34 watch video on non-TV devices daily — compared with 62% of ages 35-54, and 32% of ages 55+.

“As the streaming market has expanded and the total number of services in the home has increased, the top SVOD services’ market share has begun to wane,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “Of the 15 SVOD/streaming services in this survey, the three top now account for 43% of all streaming services in consumers’ homes, compared to 56% in 2020.”

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Leichtman: Pay-TV Providers Lost More Than 2.2 Million Subscribers in Q1

The first three months of 2023 have not been good for the legacy pay-TV market. New data from Leichtman Research Group found that the largest pay-TV providers in the United States — representing about 96% of the market — lost about 2.22 billion net video subscribers in the first quarter of 2023, compared with a pro forma net loss of about 1.85 billion in Q1 2022.

The top pay-TV providers now account for about 73.7 million subs — with the top seven cable companies having about 36.8 million video subs, other traditional pay-TV services having 23.4 million subs, and the top online pay-TV services (now including an estimate for YouTube TV) having about 13.5 million subs.

Top cable providers had a net loss of more than 1 million video subscribers in Q1 2023 — compared with a loss of about 825,000 subscribers in Q1 2022. Other traditional pay-TV services had a net loss of about 760,000 subs in Q1 2023 — compared with a loss of about 625,000 subs in Q1 2022.

Top online TV services had a net loss of about 395,000 subs in Q1 2023 — compared to a loss of about 400,000 subs in Q1 2022.

“Pay-TV net losses of about 2.2 million in Q1 2023 were more than in any previous quarter,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “Similarly to recent quarters, the record net losses appear to be as much a function of a slowdown in new connects as an increase in disconnects.”

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Pay-TV Providers Subscribers at end of 1Q 2023 Net Adds in 1Q 2023
Cable Companies
Comcast 15,528,000 (614,000)
Charter 14,906,000 (241,000)
Altice 2,475,800 (60,500)
Breezeline 300,684 (8,943)
Cable One 167,000 (14,500)
Other major private companies 3,440,000 (120,000)
Total Top Cable 36,817,484 (1,058,943)
Other Traditional Services
DirecTV 12,750,000 (350,000)
Dish TV (DBS) 7,098,000 (318,000)
Verizon Fios (Telco) 3,225,000 (76,000)
Frontier (Telco) 288,000 (18,000)
Total Top Other Traditional 23,361,000 (762,000)
Online TV
YouTube TV 5,700,000 100,000
Hulu + Live TV 4,400,000 (100,000)
Sling TV 2,100,000 (234,000)
Fubo 1,285,000 (160,000)
Total Top Online TV 13,485,000 (394,000)
Total Top Providers 73,663,484 (2,214,943)

Leichtman: 27% of Subscription Streaming Video Services Shared

More than a quarter (27%) of all subscription streaming video services are used in more than one household, according to new consumer research from Leichtman Research Group.

Younger consumers have more streaming video services (4.8) compared older demos, including four services among ages 45 to 54, and 2.5 services among ages 55 plus, according to the report.

The report found that 86% of U.S. households have at least one streaming video service, and 50% of households have four or more streaming video services. However, not all services are paid for directly by those who use them.

Indeed, while 68% of all services are fully paid for and are not shared with others outside the household, 27% of all services are used in more than one household.

About 13% of services are used and paid for by those that also share them with someone outside the household, while 12% are used in one household but are borrowed from another household that is paying for the service.

Another 2% of services are used by multiple households that share costs, while 5% are not paid for because they come with another service.

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Among young viewers (18-34), 17% of all SVOD services are fully paid for by someone else — compared with 8% among ages 35 plus. The younger demo accounts for 55% of all services that are fully paid for by someone else.

Among SVOD services, 14% of Netflix users have the service fully paid for by someone else — compared with 13% for Max, and 12% for Hulu.

The report found that 22% of all online TV streaming services are shared by multiple households, including 8% of all services that are fully paid for by someone outside the household.

“Over one-quarter of all direct-to-consumer services are shared with others outside the household, including 12% of all streaming services that are ‘borrowed’ from someone else’s subscription,”  analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “Overall, 17% of households have at least one DTC service that is fully paid for by someone else.”

The data is based on an online survey of 3,501 households from throughout the United States.

Leichtman: Pay-TV Lost 5.9 Million Subs as Broadband Customer Growth Cooled in 2022

U.S. pay-TV operators continue to hemorrhage subscribers as high-speed internet service subscribers also dropped, failing to fill the gap.

New data from Leichtman Research Group found that 5.9 million pay-TV subscribers discontinued service in 2022, up from 4.7 million discontinuing subs in 2021. At the same time, the number of new high-speed (or broadband) subscribers declined to 3.5 million, compared with 3.75 million new subs in 2021.

Comcast Cable led all operators with 2 million pay-TV sub losses, while Charter Communications (Spectrum) added the most broadband subs at 350,000.

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The top pay-TV providers now account for about 70.2 million subscribers — with the top seven cable companies having about 37.8 million video subscribers, other legacy pay-TV services having 24.1 million subs, and online TV services accounting for about 8.3 million combined subs.

“Fixed wireless services accounted for 90% of the net broadband additions in 2022, compared to 20% of the net adds in 2021,” analyst Brice Leichtman said in a statement. “Total broadband net adds in 2022 were slightly lower than the previous year, and down from about 5 million in 2020, but were more than in any year from 2012-2019.”

Comcast 16.1 million total subs end of 2022 (2,034,000) decline
Charter 15.1 million (686,000)
Cox 3 million (340,000)
Altice 2.4 million (293,300)
Mediacom 510,000 (62,000)
Breezeline 309,627 (37,102)
Cable One 181,500 (79,500)

 

Comcast 32.15 million total broadband subscribers 250,000 additions
Charter 30.43 million 344,000
Cox 5.56 million 30,000
Altice 4.28 million (103,300) decline
Mediacom 1.46 million 5,000
Cable One 1.06 million 14,400
Breezeline 693,781 (22,997)

Report: High-Speed Internet Service Reaching Saturation Point in U.S. Homes

A chicken in every pot has been replaced with high-speed internet service.

New consumer research from Leichtman Research Group (based on a survey of 1,910 U.S. households) found that 90% of U.S. households get an internet service at home, compared to 84% in 2017, and 74% in 2007. Broadband (or high-speed internet, accounts for 99% of households with internet service, and 89% of all households get a broadband service — an increase from 82% in 2017, and 53% in 2007.

This study also found that 90% of households use a laptop or desktop computer, an increase from 85% in 2017. Of those that use a laptop or desktop computer at home, 96% have internet service. Indeed, the two consumer electronics devices are key to household internet service. Households without a laptop or desktop computer account for 58% of all home without internet service.

“The percentage of households getting an Internet service at home, including high-speed broadband, is higher than in any previous year,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement.

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The report also found that individuals ages 65 and older account for 34% of those who do not get an internet service at home. About 56% of broadband subscribers are very satisfied (8-10 on a 1-10 scale) with their internet service, while 6% are not satisfied.

Another 44% of broadband subscribers do not know the download speed of their service — compared with 60% in 2017. About 61% reporting internet speeds of greater than 100 Mbps are very satisfied with their service, compared with 41% with speeds less than 50 Mbps, and 57% that do not know their speed

About 40% of broadband households get a bundle of services from a single provider — compared to 64% in 2017, and 78% in 2012, and 59% of adults with household internet service watch video online daily — unchanged since 2020, but up from 43% in 2017, and 17% in 2012.

“Computer usage and knowledge remain the foundation for Internet services in the home,” Leichtman said.

Leichtman: Pay-TV Operators Lost 785K Subs, Added 825K Broadband Customers in Q3

High-speed internet service is a gift that keeps on giving to pay-TV operators while video subscribers continue to decline.

New data from Leichtman Research Group found that the largest pay-TV providers in the United States — representing about 92% of the market — lost about 785,000 net video subscribers in the third quarter (ended Sept. 30), compared with a net loss of 650,000 subs in the prior-year period.

The top pay-TV providers now account for about 71.4 million subscribers — with the top seven cable companies having about 38.6 million video subscribers, other services (telecom and satellite) having about 24.8 million subs, and online services (i.e., Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, etc.) having more than 8 million subs.

“Spurred by a strong quarter from [online TV] services, pay-TV net losses in 3Q were more modest than in the first two quarters of the year,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “Not including YouTube TV, which does not regularly report subscriber totals, [online TV] had nearly 900,000 net additions in the quarter. This was the third-most quarterly net adds ever for the top publicly reporting online services.”

The pay-TV subscriber losses continue to be mitigated by ongoing high-speed internet subscriber gains.

Leichtman found that the largest cable and telecom providers and fixed wireless services in the United States — representing about 96% of the market — added 825,000 net broadband subscribers in Q3, similar to a gain of about 820,000 subs a year ago.

These top broadband providers account for about 110.8 million subscribers, with top cable companies having about 75.6 million broadband subs, wireline phone companies having more than 32 million subs, and top fixed wireless services having about 3.2 million subs.

“Over the past year, fixed wireless services have accounted for nearly 80% of the approximately 3.26 million broadband subscriber additions,” Leichtman reported.

Leichtman: Near 20% Drop in U.S. Pay-TV Subs in Past 15 Years

The number of U.S. households subscribing to a pay-TV service continues to decline. New consumer research from Leichtman Research Group finds that 66% of TV households nationwide have some form of pay-TV service (cable, satellite, telecom, online TV) — down from 79% in 2017, 88% in 2012, and 85% in 2007.

About 31% of non-subscribers last had pay-TV service within the past three years, 35% had pay-TV service over three years ago, and 34% never had service. Among the latter, 52% are younger millennials, ages 18-34, compared to 27% of former pay-TV subscribers.

The report, which is based on a survey of 1,850 U.S. households, found that 73% of adults ages 45+ have a pay-TV service — compared with 57% of ages 18-44.

Notably, the more televisions a household has, the more likely it is to have pay-TV service. More than 73% of households with three or more TVs have a pay-TV service, compared with 65% with two TVs, and 52% with one TV. About 13% of pay-TV subs are likely to switch from their provider in the next six months — compared with 14% in 2020, and 13% in 2017.

“The decline in pay-TV subscribers is not solely a function of those disconnecting services, it is also related to a slowdown in those entering or reentering the category,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “Overall, about 10.5% of TV households last subscribed to pay-TV service in the past three years, 12% last subscribed over three years ago, and 11.5% never subscribed.”

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Leichtman: 59% of Adults Watch Video Daily on Non-TV Devices

New consumer research from Leichtman Research Group finds that 59% of adults in the U.S. watch video daily on non-TV devices, including mobile phones, home computers, tablets and e-readers — compared with 55% in 2020, 43% in 2017, and 18% in 2012.

Younger individuals are most likely to watch video on non-TV devices.  Among all ages 18-34, 83% watch video on a non-TV device daily — compared with 64% of ages 35-54, and 35% of ages 55 and above.

The data are based on a survey of 1,900 households nationwide and part of the new study, Emerging Video Services 2022. This is LRG’s 16th annual study on this topic.

Other related findings include: 51% of adults watch YouTube on a non-TV device daily — followed by news clips at 35%. Another 50% of adults watch video on a mobile phone daily — up from 44% in 2020, and 33% in 2017, About 83% of households have a subscription video on-Demand (SVOD) service from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and/or Hulu — compared with 78% in 2020, and 64% in 2017.

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Overall, 64% of U.S. households now have more than one SVOD service — compared with 55% in 2020, and 33% in 2017. And 43% of all adults stream a top SVOD service daily — compared with 40% in 2020, and 29% in 2017. When including 11 additional streaming video services, the mean number of SVOD/DTC services among all households is 3.6 — compared with 2.9 in 2020

“While non-TV devices provide the ability to watch video anywhere, the most common location for watching video on non-TV devices continues to be in the home,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “Eighty-two percent of those who watch video on a mobile phone, and 85% of those who watch video on a tablet or eReader, do so at home.”