Opting out of cable and satellite TV is becoming increasingly common in the face of declining traditional TV and burgeoning video streaming alternatives such as Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. Cord cutting has been hailed as a consumer-friendly alternative to paying for expensive subscriptions, and is changing the way that people consume media. Rather than flipping through channels on the cable box in hopes of uncovering a good watch, people are receiving personalized feeds of video content that are ad-free. Every day, cord cutting is becoming a relevant decision to households that have access to the Internet and video streaming services.
We’ve compiled the top 9 cord cutting statistics that are driving advertisers away from TV to digital:
1. The Traditional Paid TV Subscriber Industry Is Declining 2.4% Every Year
Since 2013, the cable pay industry has been shrinking 2.4% annually.Together, in the past four years, reports estimate that there have been 6.5 million cord-cutters and cord-nevers combined. In the first quarter of 2017 alone, more than half a million Americans joined the group, and market loss in all of 2016 was approximately 1.5 million subscribers. Cord cutting is a trend that is becoming more and more popular, and the rise and differentiation of online video services has been a major catalyst.
2. 1 In 7 Americans Is A Cord Cutter
Approximately 15% of Americans are cord cutters and 9% are cord-nevers, or adults that have never subscribed to a cable or satellite program. These numbers are expected to increase as Gen Z begins to choose and purchase video subscriptions. Furthermore, 10% of US subscribers are “extremely likely” to cancel within the year, up from 2% six years ago. Subscription cancellations are driven in most cases by affordability. 74% of cord cutters say that cable or satellite subscriptions, which average about $103 per month, are too expensive for them.
3. 2/3 Of Paid TV Subscriptions Are Driven By Bundled Internet
Cable and satellite TV subscriptions are maintained in 74% of US households. The high number of pay TV subscriptions can be explained by the fact that two-thirds of pay TV consumers bundle their subscriptions with Internet. Here, it seems that many pay TV consumers are primarily concerned with paying for Internet services rather than maintaining access cable or satellite content.
4. Half Of US Consumers Subscribe To Paid Streaming Video
While traditional TV subscriptions are seeing a zero to negative growth rate, the growth of subscriptions for video streaming has accelerated from 10% of US consumers in 2009 to 49% in 2016. Of the 49% of consumers that are subscribing to paid streaming content, 60% are Gen Z, Millennials, or Gen X. Despite paying for these services, streaming subscribers are only using the subscription 35% of total time spent on streaming video content. 40% of streaming video content comes from free video streaming services and 25% comes from other sources.
5. There Are More Than 130 Streaming Services
Video streaming services total over 130 today that range in variety and price, and they represent the new generation of media magnates. These services offer thousands of movies and TV shows from major media companies and publishers, and some have even started including and prioritizing original content. Netflix, for example, is putting original programming at the forefront, spending $6 billion on original content in 2017. Social media platforms are also bolstering original content. YouTube Red plans to launch 40 new original shows within the year, and Facebook is looking to create long-form anchor content that will be owned by publishers and feature advertisements.
6. 1/4 Of All Sports Content Is Being Viewed Online
43% of cable TV subscribers say that they only thing holding them back from cutting the cord is live sports. Sports accounts for 37% of TV content and remains the major reason for TV subscribers to maintain their pay subscriptions. However, live streaming sports events, from the Olympics to the Super Bowl, is increasing though. Already, 25% of sports content is being viewed online. It is only a matter of time before most sports content will be made available through online video streaming subscription.
7. 73% Of US Consumers Binge Watch Television
TV watching habits have changed drastically with the arrival of on-demand, ad-free video and TV streaming. Now, 73% of US consumers admit to having binge watched television and the 90% of Millennials and Gen Z that binge watch are propelling the trend. Over one-third of Millennials and Gen Z are binge watching weekly, and on average, they will watch 6 episodes or about 5 hours of content per sitting. The binge watching behavior is becoming more common, and can only be sustained with video streaming subscriptions. This means that video streaming subscriptions are both shaping and maintaining content viewing preferences and behavior.
8. Over 1/3 Of Gen Z And Millennials Will Get News From Social Media Sites
Breaking news used to be exclusively delivered through television. Now, for Gen Z and Millennials, social networks are serving that function. 36% of Gen Z and 32% of Millennials get their news through social media sites, about 15% higher than the US average of 19%. Further, Gen Z and Millennials are 18% less likely to get their news through traditional television than the US average of 40%. The most commonly used social media platform for news is Facebook.
9. 27% Of Gen Z And Millennials Will Be Highly Influenced By Someone In Their Online Social Network To Buy Something
Cord cutting has also led to declining efficacy of TV ads. Only 18% of Gen Z and 25% of Millennials find that TV ads are highly influential in their buying decisions. In comparison, 27% of Gen Z and Millennials find that an online recommendation from a friend, family member, or social media influencer will help them in a buying decision. For instance, social media is more effective than TV commercial in publicizing new TV shows. Social media recommendations are extremely powerful, and are becoming mainstream media. With 84% of all consumers on social, social media content has truly become mainstream media.