Sling TV Subscriber Count Pushes 2 Million In Cord Cutting Boon
Dish has revealed that it sports over 2.2 million subscribers to Sling TV, a subscription-based streaming service that epitomizes cord cutting.
Sling stepped into the spotlight in 2015, gaining a ton of momentum at CES for offering one of the purest alternatives to the standard TV subscription model. Their à la carte service has low entry price, works with a ton of services, and actually has a pretty big library of content.
While still impressive, there are a few caveats to their 2.2 million members. On a positive note, this represents a 47 percent growth year-over-year for Sling TV, a number Dish hangs their hat on proudly. Dish details this growth in their 10-K filing, showing 623,000 subscribers in their first year, and 1.5 million in 2016.
However, that 700,000 or so gain is short of the 1 million new users DirecTV Now grabbed last year. Sony's PlayStation Vue, a similar service exclusive to Playstation owners, reported 455,000 subscribers, but some analysts say that number might be low.
Triangulated estimates from a number of sources for streaming TV subscribers. Here is what I’m comfortable with given the data.
Sling TV - 1.4 m
PS Vue - 670k
DTV Now - 1m
YouTube TV - 850k
Others - 300k
4.22 million total paying streaming TV subscribers. US market.
— Ben Bajarin (@BenBajarin) December 5, 2017
However, the consumers as a whole is turning to cord cutting as traditional cable models feel archaic and simply out of touch. In 2016, industry analysts from eMarketer pointed to a total of 22.2 million cord cutters for 2017, a 33.2 percent year-over-year growth. That 33.2 percent eclipses their original estimate of 15.4 million. Additionally, "cord-nevers" - those who will never choose to subscribe in the first place - is growing, albeit at a much slower pace.
Combined, cord cutters and cord-nevers make up about 56 million U.S. TV viewers in 2017. By 2021, that number could be closer to 81 million.
For integrators, there is a serious potential to control the entire experience as users look to cable alternatives. Netflix still leads the pack in over-the-top subscriptions, with Amazon Video and Hulu coming in a close second. Apple TV, Amazon Firestick, Google Chromecast, and Roku have all put out their own version of a 4K streaming device as well. Streaming services like HBO - who have more than 5 million subscribers bending the knee - and CBS who just pushed the same milestone. Now is the time to suggest alternatives and control your homeowners experience.