Study: Cable Cutting To Continue, Especially As Millennials Age
from the streaming-away dept
In all of the discussions about cord-cutting, it seems like many times we get lost in the weeds of specific details on certain angles or certain perceptions. Occasionally lost in all of this is the simple fact that the public ditching their cable TV subscriptions is happening and the pace at which it’s happening is rising. The general curve has almost universally been up and, while the entertainment industry may want to talk about the peripherals, eventually they’re going to have to get on board the reality train.
A recent study drives the point home yet again, finding that the pace of cord-cutting, particularly among younger demographics, is ramping up even higher.
The findings of a Media Consumption Survey were presented on Thursday at the Goldman Sachs 23rd Annual Communacopia Conference in New York by Mike Vorhaus at Frank N. Magid Associates. The survey was taken in early June. Among the wider population of those surveyed, those saying they intend to cut the cord was 2.9 percent, which might not sound like a lot, but would represent millions of customers and is more than the 2.2 percent in 2012 who said they would soon cancel pay TV.
A half-a-point jump over two years may not seem like a huge deal, but it really should be a clarion call for pay-TV providers. This is particularly the case when so many of these cord-cutters have cited dissatisfaction with the customer service at cable companies as one of the reasons for the move. In addition, younger consumers are reporting that the options available to them from streaming services like Netflix and YouTube satisfy their needs. Add to that how the television is moving into the background as the primary source of media consumption, and the industry better be getting a move on in terms of offering better streaming services.
The amount of people who say they can’t live without their TV remains steady at 57 percent, but among 18-to-34-year-olds, TV as the primary medium for entertainment is down 40 percent to 21 percent. Those who say they can’t live without their smartphones is up sharply in the last three years — from 22 percent to 50 percent. The survey also says that 59 percent of U.S. households pay for a subscription video-on-demand service, with Netflix representing 43 percent of them.
None of this may be surprising, but there’s an Achilles’ heel in all this that far too few people are discussing. I’ve said this before, but I’d be willing to bet that the moment that major professional American sports leaps heavily into any kind of reliable, consistent streaming option, that’s going to be the end of cable subscribers at the levels of the modern era. Sports aside, or rather included, the sooner cable providers and content creators get on board with the internet as the primary distribution mechanism, the longer they survive.