OTT Growth

Ever since cable companies started to demand higher monthly subscription fees from its customers, cable subscribers have been in a desperate search for a more affordable way to watch their favorite shows and movies. Luckily, their search was not in vain; over-the-top (OTT) content introduced itself to the world and has been giving satellite and cable companies a run for their money ever since.

As the years have progressed, the popularity of OTT continues to increase.

Anatomy conducted a study in the beginning of 2017 stating that two-thirds of the US has access to an OTT video service while only 61% still subscribe to cable or satellite services (Source). That being said, it’s easy to attribute the two-thirds of OTT service users to the Millennial generation however, older generations have joined the cord-cutting bandwagon and subscribed to OTT services.

From One Generation to The Next

In May 2017, eMarketer decided to conduct a study on the progression of the use of OTT services between Millennials and non-Millennials. For the purposes of this study, eMarketer has labeled 18-34 year-olds as Millennials and those 35 years-old and up as non-Millennials.

First, eMarketer looked into cable usage and found that only 57% of Millennials had cable in their household as well as 65% of non-Millennials. In total, 61% of both non-Millennials and Millennials use cable at home.

Next, eMarketer looked at access and usage to OTT services and found that 77% of Millennials and 65% of non-Millennials use OTT streaming services rather than cable or satellite TV. Combined, 67% of non-Millennials and Millennials use OTT video services in the US. This percentage is projected to only grow even higher as the year’s progress and as technology makes further advancements.

Though the cord-cutting trend is relatively new, OTT content has been around for a quite some time now and this begs the question: If OTT services were quick to become popular within Millennials, why did it take non-Millennials much longer to join in on the trend?

It all comes down to the discovery habits of Millennials vs non-Millennials. It’s no secret that Millennials are savvy when it comes to social media and technology alike; it’s one of their biggest forms of communication. Whereas non-Millennials do not use this as nearly as much as Millennials. A study conducted by Anatomy showed that 58% of Millennials learn about new programming through friends and family on social media as opposed to advertisements on TV (Source). Non-Millennials are the exact opposite and are more prone to discover new facets of technology through TV advertisements or through word of mouth. Sometimes, though, it comes down to brand awareness and how OTT networks advertise across different media platforms.

Saving Money Transcends All Generations

The obvious reason many have decided to cut the cord and break up with their cable subscription came down to the cost.

For many non-Millennials, the rising cost of cable and satellite TV subscriptions was the determining factor to their canceled cable subscriptions and use of OTT services as a cheaper alternative.

For Millennials, the cost was a large component of the switch, but in the end, it all came down to convenience. The ease of accessibility plays an important role in this generation ever since the creation of smart devices. For Millennials especially, the idea of having a streaming service that allows you to view media while you’re on-the-go or in the comfort of your home is quite alluring. Just as real estate is all about ‘location, location, location’, OTT service are all about ‘convenience, convenience, convenience’. With low, affordable prices, accessibility from any device, and watching on-the-go features, it’s no wonder that more and more non-Millennials are jumping ship and hopping on the cord cutting bandwagon.

As OTT grows and expands, its network of viewers will as well. Currently, OTT services are believed to reach an annual revenue of $32 billion by the time 2019 rolls around.