More viewers are using TV antennas, reports media market firm Horowitz Research, and it’s helping to drive cord-cutting.
According to Horowitz Research’s OTA: The New TV Growth Story 2019, one in three (29%) viewers aged 18 and over said they own a TV antenna. About a quarter (24%) said they actively use an antenna to watch content on at least one TV set. What’s more, the rate of adoption is growing: 44% of antenna users reported getting their first antenna within the past three years.
The antenna user profile, Horowitz said, doesn’t fit “the stereotype of the older, less tech-savvy, lower-income TV viewer fiddling with rabbit ears on their TV.” Half are under 50 years-old, with 24% falling into the 18-34 range. They also have higher household incomes than non-antenna users and are more likely to be streamers (87% of antenna users stream versus 75% for non-users).
Horowitz reports that streaming is playing an important role in antenna adoption. Four in 10 (39%) antenna users who stream but don’t have a pay TV subscription said “a key reason they got an antenna was so that they could cancel their cable/satellite service.” Still a majority (60%) of antenna users still have a traditional pay TV subscription.
“Free or low-priced TV is more readily available to consumers than ever before,” said Adriana Waterston, Horowitz’s SVP of Insights and Strategy. “The number of OTA (over-the-air) channels is increasing. And new technologies like OTA DVRs, OTA integration into connected TV platforms, and the rollout of Next Gen TV standards will only serve to increase consumer awareness and accelerate usage of over-the-air content in the viewing diets of American viewers.”
The Horowitz survey was conducted in September in English and Spanish among 1,541 TV content viewers.
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