The investment by US cable companies into upgrading their services is paying off, according to equity research firm Independent Research Group, as more people are subscribing to digital cable.

In the second quarter of this year, the number of customers signing up was 649,000, which helped offset the 277,000 who dropped their basic analogue cable subscription.

Although still lagging far behind the number of new satellite subscribers (821,000 for the same period), IRG analyst Erik Zamkoff believes that the success in marketing cable services to new customers comes from focusing on products unique to cable, such as video-on-demand and voice-over-internet telephony.

Says Zamkoff: "Cable can deliver a full suite of services under one bill … digital is the gateway to all of this."

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff