Children Are Leading The Cord Cutting Revolution
from the mikey-doesn't-like-it dept
The cable industry has long pretended that the cord cutting phenomenon either isn’t real or that the only people cutting the cord are aging losers living in their parents’ basement. Of course when you actually look at the data, while cord cutting remains a slow but growing phenomenon, most of the cord cutters are young, highly educated, employed, and make a good amount of money. As it turns out, you’ll be surprised to note these folks are having children — and these children are also starting to prefer on demand, a la carte services like Netflix instead of traditional cable.
For a few years now data has shown that Netflix is really eating the lunch of channels like Nickelodeon, given that toddlers in particular don’t really care if they’re watching the latest and greatest “True Detective” episode or not, and time shifting is important for parents on hectic schedules. A new research note from Bernstein Research notes that not only is viewership down for both cable and over the air broadcasts (8 and 9%, respectively, for the week of November 17 through 23), but it’s dropping significantly for children’s programming, which saw a 12% drop during that same period.
The numbers get worse quarter over quarter, where kid’s programming saw a 15% drop. In fact the only growing cable viewership audience that week was the predominately-older Fox News audience, which had tuned in to Fox’s live Ferguson coverage. Kids and parents, in contrast, just want the simplest, most enjoyable content experience on their own terms:
“A 5-year-old is probably less concerned with seeing the latest Spongebob Squarepants, compared to just reruns of that show,” said Brett Harriss, a media analyst at Gabelli & Company. Nickelodeon and Disney Channel viewership fell 25% and 24% respectively, according to the Bernstein report. “For kids’ programming it’s a unique audience. They’re not loyal to any network or channel. It’s platform-agnostic,” said Amy Yong, an analyst at Macquarie Capital USA Inc.”
Of course these kids aren’t going to stay young forever, and when they grow up, paying Comcast $150 a month for an ocean of awful reality TV programs and infomercials is going to seem as backward to them as drilling holes in the heads of the mentally ill to let the demons out.