Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc.:”With the addition of more than 30 million broadband subscribers over the past decade, cable providers have clearly expanded well beyond their roots in cable TV service. As of the end of 2Q 2014, the top cable providers now have more broadband subscribers than cable TV subscribers.”
Peter Kafka, Re/code:”The top cable guys now have 49,915,000 Internet subscribers, compared to 49,910,000 TV subscribers. And to be sure, most cable customers are getting both services. Still, this is directionally important. The future for the pay TV guys isn’t selling you pay TV — it’s selling you access to data pipes, and pay TV will be one of the things you use those pipes for.”
Marcus Wholsen, Wired: “What this means for the future of TV is still tough to predict. While these figures may suggest the inevitable transition to an internet-dominated future, nearly 50 million cable subscribers don’t appear ready to cut the cord just yet. Even with a plethora of on-demand options, people are still watching TV like they used to, which means a business model still based around ads and subscription fees. But that’s still a loss of millions of cable subscribers over the past half-decade, while the number of broadband subscribers has climbed at a much faster clip.
Meanwhile, traditional TV as a format already is being engulfed by the open-endedness of the internet. From mainstream streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video to niche sites like Funny or Die to YouTube celebrities—to name just some of the options that fall under entertainment—the kinds of moving pictures available and the ways to consume them have never been greater. Within this broader spectrum, cable as a concept could become just another niche, one channel among many as the insatiable internet swallows everything it encounters.”