Cutting the cable connection to coax connector illustrating retired people cancelling cable TV service

22 Million More Americans Will Become a Cord Cutter in 2017

Cutting the cable connection to coax connector illustrating retired people cancelling cable TV serviceWell it looks like Cord Cutting is continuing to see solid growth from the proliferation of streaming devices and services like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu, and DIRECTV NOW to name a few.

According to a report from eMarketer in 2017, 22.2 million U.S. adults will cut the cord on cable, satellite or telco TV service — up 33% over 2016 — the researcher now predicts. This is significantly higher than eMarketer’s prior estimate of 15.4 million cord-cutters for this year. Meanwhile, the number of “cord-nevers” (consumers who have never subscribed to pay TV) will rise 5.8% this year, to 34.4 million.

“Younger audiences continue to switch to either exclusively watching [over-the-top] video or watching them in combination with free-TV options,” said Chris Bendtsen, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer. “Last year, even the Olympics and [the U.S.] presidential election could not prevent younger audiences from abandoning pay TV.”

The bad news for traditional TV does not stop there. According to the report by 2021, the number of cord-cutters will nearly equal the number of people who have never had pay TV — a total of 81 million U.S. adults. That would put cord cutters at around 30% of American adults won’t have traditional pay TV at that point, per eMarketer’s revised forecast.

Paul Verna, eMarketer’s principal analyst, said in a statement that several factors have contributed to the acceleration of cord cutting.

“First, traditional pay TV operators are increasingly developing streaming platforms, such as Dish Network’s Sling TV,” he said. “Second, networks such as HBO and ESPN have launched stand-alone subscription services that allow users to tap those channels without a cable subscription. And third, digital players like Hulu and YouTube are now delivering live TV channels over the internet at reasonable prices—including sports properties that were previously available only through traditional distribution.”

With growth like this, it is no wonder that services and device makers are rushing to find a way to reach out to cord cutters. The only question now is who will win and how will this change the way we watch TV over the next 5 years.

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  • Robert Frankenfield

    Now if only they would focus on reducing the volume of commercials.

  • jmgnyc

    I truly wish I could figure out a way where cutting the cord makes financial sense. I pay about $75 a month for cable but that includes HBO, Showtime, and Starz. Standalone they’d cost $35 so that gives me about $40 to cover the rest. Commercial free Hulu at $12 leaves me with $28 to spend if I want ESPN or HGTV or such.

    None of the streaming bundles really saves me anything. The only ones under $40 are Sling Orange at $25 and DirectTV Now (no DVR) at $35 plus a $10 saving on HBO so say it really costs only $25. So to save $3 I have to deal with all their DVR restrictions or a total lack of one. It just isn’t worth it.

    My other choice is to forget a streaming bundle altogether and just buy a la carte from iTunes or Amazon but that doesn’t get me ESPN.

    • dman

      It sounds like, in your case, cutting the cord wouldn’t make financial sense… you currently have a smoking deal from your cable provider… count your blessings, you are an exception to the norm.

      In the majority of households, cutting the cord, makes great financial sense. I saved $70/month by cutting the cord.

      • jmgnyc

        If you’ve save $70 what was your cable bill to begin with?! How much are you paying for internet now.

        I think my real problem is that internet only costs are too high for me.

        • dman

          I had internet through the cable company and we received our cable/local channels through DirecTV (i.e. no bundle savings). Bundling internet/tv together wasn’t an option via DirecTV, due to the DSL speeds being atrocious where I live (with 6 people in my house, I need a large data pipe).

          I was paying ~$110/month for DirecTV (6 boxes, HD, DVR, programming, fees/taxes). After cutting the cord, I’m only paying $42/month (TiVo for OTA recording – $7/month, Sling for cable channels – $35/month).

          I didn’t (and don’t currently) subscribe to premium channels, so I didn’t have to worry about that cost.

          After cutting the cord, I have all the same cable/local channels (that we actually care about), in all the same 6 rooms that we had DirecTV before.

          I think the rising internet costs are directly correlated to cord cutting… cable companies are trying to recoup their loses by instituting higher rates and data caps. Eventually (hopefully before too long) competition will come in and knock them off their high horse and cause them to change their business model.