Lack of Live Sports is Contributing to Cord Cutting Especially in Young Adults

Remote and Soccer game on TVPeople are adhering to shelter in place orders and staying at home these days. That means people around the globe are looking for entertainment at home. But with less live news and no live sports events happening, that means even more people are cutting the cord and making the move to streaming.

A new study by The Trade Desk this month found that 64% of households are cord cutters, meaning they’ve either switched to streaming, plan to switch, or have never paid for cable TV. Unsurprisingly, that number is even higher among the younger generation with 74% of young adults ages 18-24 saying they’re cord cutters.

“With only a quarter of young professionals having any long-term interest in traditional cable TV, in a few years we won’t be talking about linear or cable TV at all. It will all be online and streaming,” said Brian Stempeck, chief strategy officer at The Trade Desk. “For broadcasters and advertisers, it’s now all about how quickly they can pivot to where the eyeballs are moving and many of them are already investing heavily in order to succeed in a world of connected TV.”

Additionally, of that 74% of young adults, 35% said they were willing to watch ads on their streaming service if that meant it was cheaper or free. This age group doesn’t seem to mind sitting through commercials as long as they’re relevant to their own interests and don’t have to watch the same ad over and over.

“As more consumers shift to connected TV, broadcasters and advertisers can more easily address issues of ad frequency and ad volume, in ways that are not possible in a traditional TV environment,” said Stempeck. “With CTV, the advertiser can work with an ad tech partner to understand who was exposed to an ad, even across devices, and can reduce ad frequency as a result. In addition, with CTV, advertisers can apply more data science to their advertising, making it more relevant to the consumer without compromising their privacy. This increases the value of the ads, which means lower ad volume, over time.”

Live sports is the reason 60% of viewers in these studies have held out on cutting the cord, but with no live sports on the horizon for the next little while, it’s likely those numbers will continue to drop. Plus, with streaming services like Sling TV offering live TV including ESPN and other sports networks, there’s no reason to cling to a big cable bill when you could switch to streaming and still get the games you love when they come back on.

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