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

 couple watching tv in their home

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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Most cord-cutters aren’t missing cable TV

 

FC9C9260-7044-4C5B-8B40-B0301F840ED4What Do US Cord Cutters Miss About Cable/Satellite TV? (% of respondents, March 2019)

At a time when the number of cord-cutters continues to climb, a new report indicates that most folks who ditched their cable TV service don’t miss anything about it.

In a March survey of over-the-top (OTT) video users by programmatic platform OpenX and analytics firm The Harris Poll, 52% of 528 cord-cutters said they don’t miss anything about cable or satellite TV. Live events, sports and news were the programs they missed most.

“Cord-cutters are reacting to the fact that they do not like being forced to pay for channels they do not watch—and they do not like being restricted by device, time or place to access their programs,” said Dallas Lawrence, chief communications and brand officer at OpenX.

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‘Cord Frayers’ cut back on cable TV but up digital video viewing

Almost half of all US internet users stream TV content through an internet-connected device.

Marketers are familiar with cord cutters—consumers who have traded in their cable TV packages for internet-steamed TV and video content but they should also be aware of “cord frayers.” Cord frayers make up a segment of consumers who have downgraded their cable TV packages instead of cutting the cord completely. Not surprisingly, doing so has affected cord frayers’ TV and online video viewing behavior.

 

 

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