Tuesday, June 19, 2018

'Skinny Bundles' Quickly Catching On

A new report from UBS predicts a “steeper ramp” than previously forecast for so-called “skinny bundle” services like Sling TV and DirecTV Now in the coming years. By 2022, the financial institution’s media analysts predict, they will represent 25% of all pay-TV subscriptions, accordingto Deadline.

John Hodulik
“As these offerings continue to improve—closing programming gaps, adding features and improving transmission quality—and traditional TV consumption falls, we expect the streamers to become increasingly attractive,” said the report, which was written by a team headed by analyst John Hodulik.

UBS projects there will be 9.2 million online streaming TV subscribers by the end of 2018, which had been its previous forecast. But based on new findings and polling data in its Evidence Lab, UBS said it is increasing its estimate for the end of 2020 to 17 million from 15 million and now expects 24 million by the end of 2022.

Dish’s Sling, which was very early to market, leads the skinny field with 2.3 million subscribers, followed by DirecTV Now. Hodulik wrote that AT&T’s DirecTV Now — a key strategic asset that got a lot of mentions during the company’s courtroom battle with the government over the Time Warner merger — has grown “faster than expected,” reaching 1.5 million customers in its first 18 months. It should get further momentum from anticipated launches of non-sports, basic bundle AT&T Watch and another package described by Hodulik as “a higher-end, device-centric service.”

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