The cord cutting that has taken place so far may be nothing compared with what we’re about to see. The latest word from people who know about these things — specifically, SNL Kagan and its forecaster Tony Lenoir — is that cord cutting may be about to see a boom.
The New York Post reports that a new report out Wednesday from Lenoir and SNL Kagan reveals that 13% of U.S. households now have broadband but no pay-TV package. In the fourth quarter, 400,000 homes cut the cord, bringing the total for 2016 to 2 million homes.
The number of “broadband-only” homes as of the end of 2016 stood at 15.4 million, according to SNL Kagan.
“Kagan projects that the number of broadband homes without pay-TV packages will grow to 28 million by 2021 — although company analyst Tony Lenoir said that forecast may not be aggressive enough,” The Post reports.
Said Lenoir: “That forecast could end on the conservative side given the speed at which the TV ecosystem and the U.S. broadband landscape are evolving.”
Lenoir suggested that the end-of-2016 data “should settle the debate” about whether cord cutters, along with “cord nevers” — younger consumers who never climb aboard traditional pay TV at all — should be of concern to the cable industry.
Deadline.com notes that Lenoir said the popularity of broadband-only subscriptions “appears to be on the verge of a break to the upside.”
There’s good reason to think the trend might accelerate, according to Deadline. “For example, the FCC is encouraging broadband providers to expand in rural America,” the Deadline report notes.
Adds Lenoir: “Unserved zones gaining access to high-speed data is likely to perturb established video-delivery dynamics in those areas.”