Despite various research firms' warnings about OTT video potentially causing large-scale subscriber losses for the pay TV industry, IMS Research
does not regard OTT video as a significant threat to pay TV operators. The research house is forecasting that digital cable TV subscribers in the United States will increase by 7.8 million from the end of 2010 to the end of 2015, even as the platform as a whole is forecast to drop by 2.75 million subscribers during the same period.
Compared with Netflix
's recently reported monthly ARPU of $12.19, U.S. cable MSOs are not in a bad position. For example, Comcast
reported a monthly ARPU of $133.43 for video customers in its Q4 2010 results.
Anna Hunt, IMS principal analyst, said in a statement: "Consumers dropping their pay TV service aren't necessarily high-value cable customers. Many are likely basic customers looking for a lower cost or free video entertainment option."