U.S. digital TV users are climbing faster than expected.
The number of U.S. digital TV users -- those who view at least one TV show per month via the Internet -- will climb 37% in four years to 145 million in 2017, from 106 million in 2012. This amounts to digital TV user growth climbing at a 6.9% compound annual growth rate -- a higher increase than previously forecast in August 2012 by eMarketer.
Next year, it says digital TV viewers will cross a critical tipping point -- surpassing 50% of the U.S. Internet user population. Those users who watch at least one movie per month on any Internet-capable device will climb to 115 million in 2017 from nearly 80 million in 2012, a 9.7% annual growth rate.
A Belkin and Harris Interactive survey of U.S. Internet users said 12% would consider replacing their cable or satellite subscription with a streaming media subscription, such as Netflix or Hulu Plus in 2013. A total of 30% of respondents were inclined to at least consider cord-cutting.
Still, another 37% "strongly disagreed" when asked whether they would consider replacing cable and satellite with only digital Internet TV.
Evidence of growing digital TV/movie usage, says eMarketer, comes from Netflix -- which reported U.S. streaming revenues of $2.19 billion for 2012, growing moderately from quarter-to-quarter, with its U.S. rental DVD revenues totaling $1.14 billion and declining each quarter.