Parks Associates Charts Live Viewing Trends


Consumers are spending less time on live broadcasts on their television sets, according to Parks Associates, but live viewing on internet-connected devices is on the rise.

“While live over-the-air and pay-TV broadcasts have experienced waning viewership, live video is experiencing a resurgence online,” says Parks Associates in its Video’s Critical Path: Success at Web Speed whitepaper. “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 OTT 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 dropped to 44 percent by the end of 2017.

“While OTT SVOD has 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 the OTT video service cancellation rate 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.