By: Jeff Baumgartner
Google Fiber’s ambitions have drawn both bearish and bullish views from analysts, but new data from the U.S. Copyright Office shows that the initiative is not yet setting the world on fire, at least with respect to the number of video customers who have signed on so far.
Google Fiber ended 2015 with just north of 53,000 video subs, according to a blog post from MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett that pointed to fresh data from the U.S. Copyright Office.
The number’s a bit of a mixed bag. In Moffett’s view, Google Fiber’s rate of video growth is strong, but should be stronger.
“The number of subscribers to Google’s fiber service remains astonishingly low,” Moffett noted. Though the percentage growth rate for Google Fiber is high, he said the surprise is that the growth rate isn’t higher. “After all, there has been a steady stream of new cities announced, and they’ve now been at it for a long time in at least a handful of markets,” he wrote.
According to Moffett’s analysis, Google Fiber ended Q4 2015 with 53,390 video subs, up from 28,867 a year earlier. Among individual service areas, it ended the year with about 12,189 video subs in Kansas City, Kan., on a base of 53,925 homes in the city (22.6% penetration), a 16.8% penetration in Kansas City, Mo. (37,338 subs on a base of 221,860 homes in the city); and 8.2% penetration in Provo, Utah (2,718 subs on 33.212 homes). Google Fiber, he found, also has 941 video subs in Austin, Texas.