Study Finds Sharp Increase in Cord Cutting

Apr 22, 2014  •  Post A Comment

A new study appears to confirm what many in the television industry already believe: Cord cutting is gaining momentum. Citing the study from Experian Marketing Services, Circa reports that about 7.6 million U.S. households — 6.5% of all households in the country — have now cut their pay-TV subscriptions.

"Several surveys now suggest that 'cord cutting' — dropping traditional pay TV service in favor of Internet-based alternatives — is no longer only a niche activity," the story reports.

The 6.5% figure for 2013 is an increase from 4.5% in 2010, Broadband TV News notes. The publication reports that the numbers are higher for households that include anyone age 18-34. In that demo, 12.4% of U.S. households are cord cutters, up from 7.9% in 2010.

The numbers are still higher for households that have a Netflix or Hulu subscription: 18.1% in 2013, up from 12.7% in 2010.

“We had looked at cord-cutting as a trend in years past, but we hadn’t really seen significant movement in the space because it was more a small group of people who were actually cutting the cord,” Experian Marketing Services senior marketing manager John Fetto said. “It’s become something people are actually doing from something that was just being talked about in New York Times trend pieces.”

Experian found that almost 25% of adults 18-34 who subscribe to a streaming service do not pay for traditional television.

The company noted: "While the term cord-cutter implies that a household had a cable or satellite TV subscription that was canceled, young adults starting out on their own for the first time may never pay for TV service."

Noted TV industry analyst Craig Moffett of Moffett Research is quoted in the Circa piece saying: "Cord-cutting used to be an urban myth. It isn't anymore. No, the numbers aren't huge, but they are statistically significant."

The piece notes that Moffett "released a report in August 2013 saying that the pace of people getting rid of their pay TV subscription is accelerating. Pay TV subscriptions declined 0.3% in 2012, according to Moffett."

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