AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerWhere is Pay TV Going?

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Where is Pay TV Going?

I read a prediction by Matt Voda of OptiMine in He said, “The arrival of virtual reality in 2016, combined with a major explosion of streaming and the death of the old world distribution models will unleash a new age of what we used to call ‘TV.” He could be right, but… in December of 2016, 76 percent of the U.S. adult population was currently receiving TV via cable or satellite (Source: Pew Research). The death of the old-world models will need more than 52 weeks.

Surprisingly, the group that is most likely to “cut the cord,” is connected to cable or satellite: 65 percent of 18-29 year-olds and 73 percent of 30-49 year-olds were receiving pay TV. Considering that cable provides broadband for a majority of these households (for all these new sources), it could be a slower than anticipated reduction in homes than first thought.

It’s best to look at the data, rather than make sweeping statements about media now or in the future. Here are Pay-TV penetration facts:

  • All adults — 76%
  • 18-29 — 63%
  • 20-49 — 73%
  • 50+ — 83%
  • HH <$20k — 63%
  • HH >$75k — 86%

Yes, TV is changing and will change. However, as long as there are long-term contracts for the rights to NFL (DirecTV contract ends in 2023), Super Bowl, NBA, Oscars and college football and so on, it may be hard to cut the cord completely – especially if it is tied to your Internet connection.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.