Media Trend: Cord-Cutters

Times are changing, and if you’re anything like me, you spend your day crazy busy and you just don’t have time to watch your favorite show on a TV set promptly at 8pm. You might not even own a TV or have a cable subscription. Instead, many people are starting to catch their favorite shows or movies on Netflix at their own time on a laptop, tablet or smart phone – and yes, there’s the occasional binge watching…guilty!

If you don’t want to pay for a cable or satellite subscription, and instead you prefer to stream shows online, you are officially a cord-cutter! Like the name implies, you CUT the CORD, on traditional satellite or cable services such as Comcast. You and I and millions of others across the US are responsible for the decline in pay-TV.

Since 2006, cable and satellite companies have lost 6 million subscribers and it is expected that in 2017 alone, 22.2 million people will be cutting-the-cord on cable in the US.

With an upward accelerating growth in cord cutting, companies are blaming the cost of cable subscriptions as the main factor for pay-tv decline. Since millennials are the driving force in cord-cutting, they say their lower income plays a major role.

But I’d like to argue that is not the case. Less than half of current pay-tv subscribers reported cable or satellite being “too expensive” as a reason they’d cut the cord. Other factoids such as the following are the leading reasons for the switch from cable to streaming OTT. OTT stands for Over-The-Top and it is an application or service that provides movies, TV shows and live events digitally without a need for a pay-tv service provider.

So what are cable companies and networks doing to combat cord-cutters and tap into the online streaming service? Many cable networks, such as HBO, although still operating through a pay-tv service, are launching stand-alone subscriptions for viewers to watch their content online, anytime, anywhere without the need of a cable subscription. Hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Nidia Verdugo, Media Buyer