Editorial: The Genie Out of The Bottle and Cord Cutting Can’t Be Stopped

Cutting the cable connection to coax connector illustrating retired people cancelling cable TV serviceRecently we have seen a flood of doom and gloom stories full of negative predictions about the future of cord cutting. If you have followed my site for any length of time, you have likely seen us talk about how negative stories get a ton of traffic.

Think about it. Would you rather read a story that says, “Everything Was Great Today” or would you read a story first that says, “You Could Die Tomorrow”? Well, of course, the “You Could Die Tomorrow” story is far more intriguing.

The truth is that cord cutting is growing faster than ever according to fourth quarter 2017 numbers. There are now an estimated 25 million cord cutters and cord nevers in the United States. (I honestly think that number is low.)

So this raises the question, could traditional pay-TV providers find a way to force cord cutters to come back to cable TV? The truth is they could do some things that would make cord cutting a lot more uncomfortable, but I don’t think they could ever stop cord cutting.

Why don’t I think they could stop cord cutting? Because the way people watch TV is changing. With a world full of so many entertainment options, a growing number of Americans could care less about traditional live TV.

Of the 25 million cord cutters, only an estimated 5 million of them pay for a live TV streaming service. That means 20 million Americans have decided that they don’t want a pay-TV service and they also do not want a live TV streaming service.

Even if every live TV streaming service in the United States would shut down, the vast majority of cord cutters would still never go back to a pay-TV service.

Cord cutting is not just about paying less for TV. Increasingly most of the shows people want are not on a traditional pay-TV service. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are leading the way in original content, and others are quickly joining the push.

Americans are changing how they watch TV, and cord cutting will never be stopped because even if major studios would try to block access to their content increasingly cord cutters are shrugging their shoulders and turning to a different show. With the catalog of great shows streaming online there is always something to watch.

What about Internet?

I get this question often. What if pay-TV providers who also offer internet suddenly triple the cost of standalone internet? The truth is the age of internet monopolies is coming to an end. It may not happen overnight, but every day a new internet provider is launching. 5G and fixed wireless networks are getting all the news, but smaller fiber networks and more are launching.

It is reported that over half of the United States will have a 5G home internet service as a option by 2020. By 2025 the vast majority of Americans with not just have one or two wireless home internet options but multiple home internet options.

As competition grows and new companies such as Dish and Google jump into the home internet business in new markets look for the ability for a traditional internet provider to charge any price they want to come to an end.

In short, the future of cord cutting is bright and the point of no return has come and gone. Now the question is what will TV look like in the future? In the next few years TV will be very different from what it is today.

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