Feb 26, 2019

Skinny bundles may not salvage pay-TV declines

The total number of pay-TV subscribers, or people who buy cable or satellite TV packages, dropped 4.1% year-over-year last quarter, according to research firm MoffettNathanson.

Data: MoffettNathanson Research; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Why it matters: Cord-cutting seems like an inevitable conclusion to the onslaught of streaming services entering the market today, but last quarter we saw a newer trend which was that Pay-TV losses weren’t offset by cord-cutters signing up for digital "skinny bundles," like Sling TV or YouTube TV.

  • Yes, but: "Given all of the new OTT options available both free and streaming, it’s inevitable that cord cutting is going to start picking up," says Alan Wolk, co-founder and lead analyst at TV[R]EV. "But it’s also important to note that in a market with around 80% penetration, a loss of 1% of the customer base is still a trickle and not the tsunami that so many in the press make it out to be."

Go deeper: On life support: Record number of pay-TV watchers cut the cord

Go deeper

Scoop: Inside the Trump campaign's big hedge on Facebook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Trump campaign has invested most of its advertising budget to date on Facebook, testing thousands of versions of ads per day to maximize its spending.

But behind the scenes, a source familiar with the campaign tells Axios, the thinking has shifted: "As everyone can see, we still have strong spending on Facebook, but the percentage of our total media budget [on Facebook] is shrinking."

Trump's revenge tour has the House in its sights

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Contributor

In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections — buoyed by Republican control of both chambers — President Trump viewed campaigning for the House as a lower-tier priority and instead poured his energy into rallying for the Senate.

But after the GOP reckoning in 2018, and experiencing firsthand how damaging a Democratic-led House has been to him, Trump is now personally invested in helping Republicans regain the majority in November, several people familiar with his thinking tell Axios.

Pelosi warns U.S. allies against working with China's Huawei

Nancy Pelosi, Feb. 16. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday cautioned U.S. allies against allowing Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to develop their 5G networks, arguing at the Munich Security Conference that doing so is akin to “choosing autocracy over democracy," CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Pelosi's hawkish stance marks a rare area of agreement with the Trump administration, which believes Huawei is a national security threat because the Chinese government may be capable of accessing its equipment for espionage.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - World