Weird: Cord-cutting proclivity is not on the rise!


Asking people if they are going to cut the cord and stop paying for cable or satellite TV is like asking smokers if they plan to quit, the heavy if they are going to lose weight, or the unfit if they will start going to the gym: the number who plan on doing is often hundreds of times higher than the number who succeed.

Since 2011, people have been asking Americans if they plan on cutting the cord. And despite that fact that every year about 1-in-7 of those who currently pay for TV and have broadband said that they are thinking about quitting, those who follow through are very rare: in 2013 the number was 0.2% in the USA, and 0.07% in Canada.

What I find more interesting from the data released this morning is that the number is so darn stable. Although there is a slight increase in those who say they will definitely cancel (from 2.2% last year to 2.9% in 2014,) those who describe themselves as either moderately or somewhat likely to cancel both fell year over year. In fact, all prospective self-described potential cord-cutters FELL about half a percent!

This does not fit with all the media articles about cord-cutting. And although over-the-top services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and YouTube continue to add content, subscribers and viewing hours (not to mention rising share of internet traffic), there is no corresponding growth in the number of Americans who think they can give up pay TV.


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2 responses to “Weird: Cord-cutting proclivity is not on the rise!”

  1. Avadon says :

    I think the problem is that people are not well informed of their options. They know they can get many of the shows they want to watch by using Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, but when it comes to sports they don’t know any other way than to have cable or satellite. Also, more recently, internet providers have been putting data caps on our internet. With my current provider, who I have been with for over 15 years, I don’t have a cap (I think I am grandfathered in), but with a data cap it can be a worry, especially if that is the only way you watch TV and if you have a full house. The best option would be to use the streaming services and purchase an OTA antenna with a TV antenna amplifier to pick up all the free HD over-the-air channels you watch regularly. This way you can still watch your shows and not use your internet data all the time. When it comes to sports… the NBA, NHL, and MLB offer live streams of games both online and on your mobile device. This comes at a price, but it is a fraction of the cost you would pay with cable or satellite.

    • duncanpredicts says :

      You are completely correct. But my point isn’t that North Americans CAN’T cut the cord, it is that the data so far shows that they aren’t. Perhaps a good analogy would be running a half marathon. Virtually anybody in decent health can train and finish 21k/13 miles. They might be slow, but they could do it. Most don’t.

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