Inside the Internet
Cord Cutting on the Rise: 9 Stats and Trends
Dec 11th, 2019
Whether you’ve already cut the cord yourself or are still debating the move, the stats speak loud and clear: streaming services continue to grow while cable TV bundles are rapidly declining (56.1M households will be without paid TV by the end of the year).
Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu aren’t the only place to get your content — digital media consumption is growing across a variety of categories. (Spoiler: Netflix’s original content game is probably only going to get stronger in the coming years.) From news sources to user-generated content like Instagram, consumers have more streaming options than ever and that’s driving more people to cut the cord. Let’s look at some streaming vs. cable statistics and what those trends mean for you.
The average cable bill is $217.42/month (and it’s still climbing).
Cable companies may be slowing down the rate of price hikes in response to widespread cancellations in favor of internet-only packages but cable subscriptions have leapt in price every year. You can still expect those jumps if your subscription started during a promotion--and Charter just announced another rate increase to their cable/internet bundle that will take place in October--but the competition is getting fierce. Over 80% of cable subscribers said their monthly bill was too high back in 2013. Speaking of...
An average of 187 channels offered through cable TV go unwatched.
The average cable subscriber only watches 17 out of 200 channels in their cable package. Despite award-winning shows on cable channels, there are only so many hours in the day to watch TV. Sounds like they’d be better off with a Sling subscription…
Only two-thirds of American households still subscribe to pay-TV.
A study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers found that the cord cutting revolution isn’t slowing down anytime soon--and it’s gaining traction with older audiences as well. 28% of consumers over 50 years old don’t pay for traditional TV service, 61% get TV content from online sources, up more than 27% in two years.
More people subscribe to a streaming service (69%) than pay for cable TV (65%), according to a similar study from Deloitte. The top reasons for an internet video service are to gain access to original programming (57%) and avoiding advertising (44%). Cutting the cord doesn’t mean cutting out live TV, as 29% said they use an internet service to access TV broadcasts.
Approximately 182.5 million people will subscribe to a streaming service this year.
TechCrunch confirms that with 158.8 million subscribers, Netflix is still king when it comes to streaming services. For comparison, the second-favorite service, Prime Video, will hit 96.5 million viewers in 2019. But we’re all waiting with bated-breath to see the kind of splash Disney+ will make in the market.
By the end of 2019, 40.2 million households will ditch paid TV subscriptions.
An eMarketer report cited by Forbes estimated that the number of households cutting the cord this year will grow by 19.2%. By 2023, that number could be as high as 56.1 million households without paid TV service.
Streaming is taking over: Netflix use has surpassed the combined satellite and cable TV use.
Yes, that means that Netflix was binged more than both satellite and cable TV. This is the first time Netflix has reached this milestone. On behalf of internet-only service providers: you’re welcome, Netflix.
The number of people watching content on streaming platforms is only increasing. In 2018, 147.5 million Americans watched Netflix at least once per month. And Amazon Prime draws a cool 88.7 million per month, Variety said, citing an eMarketer estimate.105 million households streamed at least one episode of Orange Is the New Black, making it Netflix’s most-watched original show, the service confirmed. NBD.
The streaming content machines are just gaining speed. Netflix is estimated to spend $15 billion on original content in 2019. Yes, that’s billion with a “B” — substantially more than the $12.04 billion they spent in 2018. Variety notes that this increase (which is predicted to be even higher in 2020) is an effort to fight the growing list of competitors, such as Disney and NBCUniversal. The newcomers are reclaiming some of their owned content (ahem, The Office and Friends) and have big plans for shiny new offerings (eyes are on you, Marvel).
75% of adults get their news from at least one social media platform.
The way we interact with media is drastically changing and it’s not just because people are cancelling their cable subscriptions. While nightly news broadcasts used to be essential to keep up with the happenings of the world, we now have plenty of ways to get the latest breaking news. The American Press Institute’s 2017 findings cite Facebook as the most popular social media site for news — noting that 6 out of 10 adults have received news from the platform.
YouTube is the most popular TV network.
The social media giant owned by Google connects with more 18- to 34-year-old Americans than any given TV network. (Hootsuite also noted that that stat is based on mobile views and doesn’t account for browsers.)
Gen Zers use of YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram is only increasing.
Their YouTube use alone grew by 59% in 2018. This generation is also the largest conglomerate of “cord nevers” or people who have never paid for cable TV.
The resistance to growing bills and fees, along with the demand for a simple, fast, internet-only plans is driving demand for Starry. We’re here to help people escape from terrible customer service and mysteriously large monthly bills by connecting them to a next-generation network and awesome home WiFi, without unnecessary, expensive bundles.
Cord cutting doesn’t mean unplugging. Think of it as unleashing your power of choice. Not sure how to keep watching your favorite shows (and discover new ones) if you ditch cable? We’ve got you covered.