Study: Cord Cutters are on Track to Become the Main TV Consumers in the Next Year

Everyone keeps talking about it, but the numbers are hard to ignore – last year saw viewers consuming record amounts of streaming content and the pattern is not lightening up. Streaming surged throughout the pandemic and has continued to stay strong now that the world is returning to ‘normal’ standards. Streaming has become the medium of choice even for live sports, which is typically a huge driver in linear TV consumption.

New data from The Trade Desk shows 44% of subscribers plan to cut or pull back cable service in the coming year while nearly half of American TV viewers are already cordless (47%) according to the fourth Future of TV survey of more than 4,000 U.S. adults. Additionally, only 19% of TV viewers are returning to their pre-pandemic sports viewing habits. With so many more cost-effective options for streaming sports like Sling TV, Fubo TV, ESPN+, and more, there’s becoming less and less of a reason for consumers to fork out a high-priced traditional cable bill every month.

Advertisers are also shifting their focus to streaming, and many viewers don’t mind watching ads. According to the study, more U.S. TV viewers report watching streaming content with ads (44 percent) than without ads (33 percent). In fact, nearly two-thirds of U.S. TV viewers (64 percent) don’t want to spend more than $30 in total per month on streaming services, making free or lower-cost ad-supported services more attractive to consumers.

“We are entering a new TV normal, where new streaming viewing models sit side by side with traditional TV formats,” said Tim Sims, Chief Revenue Officer, The Trade Desk. “From an advertiser’s perspective, this shift presents a tremendous opportunity. They can reach those streaming TV viewers with more precision and accuracy than ever because they can apply data to those TV campaigns in a way that’s not possible with linear. So, it provides incremental reach that’s an important element of a comprehensive TV ad campaign.”