Pandemic accelerated cord cutting, making 2020 the worst-ever year for pay TV

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The pandemic has accelerated adoption of a number of technologies, from online grocery to multiplatform gaming to streaming services and more. But one industry that has not benefited is traditional pay TV. According to new research from eMarketer, the cable, satellite and telecom TV industry is on track to lose the most subscribers ever. This year, over 6 million U.S. households will cut the cord with pay TV, bringing the total number of cord-cutter households to 31.2 million.

The firm says that by 2024, the number will grow even further, reaching 46.6 million total cord-cutter households, or more than a third of all U.S. households that no longer have pay TV.

Despite these significant declines, there are still more households that have a pay TV subscription than those that do not. Today, there are 77.6 million U.S. households that have cable, satellite or telecom TV packages. But that number has declined 7.5% year-over-year — its biggest-ever drop. The figure is also down from pay TV’s peak in 2014, the analysts said.

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Roku predicts half of US homes will have cut the cord and dropped cable by 2024

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Roku predicts that by 2024, half of all U.S. homes will have never had cable TV or will have canceled their subscription.

Roku sees this trend boosting its business, which it frames as being a “neutral partner at the center of the streaming ecosystem.”

Roku predicts that within four years, half of all U.S. homes will have never had cable TV or will have canceled their subscription, the company said in a letter to investors on Thursday released along with the company’s fourth quarter 2019 results.

The consumer shift from expensive cable TV packages to cheaper and more flexible “over-the-top” internet streaming services has been driving a wave of investment and competition in the media industry.

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