One of the things that keeps cable-company execs awake at night is the increase in cord-cutting, where people give up entirely on cable TV service in favor of getting their video content from the Internet. While the numbers are small so far, those planning to cut the cord in the coming year are increasing – and that’s a worrisome sign for the cable industry.
The latest survey from Frank M. Magid Associates shows that about 2.9 percent of US pay-TV consumers are “very likely” to cancel cable TV service within the next year. That was up from last year’s survey, which showed 2.7 percent preparing to cut the cord, and in the year before, 2.2 percent.
“These are very small numbers in terms of future cord-cutting from American consumers,” said Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors. “But in mass media, very small numbers are very important, too.” The survey sampled 2,400 consumers aged 8 to 64 in June, 2014.
Perhaps scarier to cable companies, the demographic most likely to drop cable TV is the coveted 25-34 age range, where 4.9 percent said they are very likely to cut the cord.
This does not reflect the growing propensity of young consumers to never sign up for cable TV in the first place, preferring to focus on high-speed Internet service and get whatever video they want from that service.
The growth of cord-cutting also hints at the increasing interest in livestreaming, with Amazon’s recent purchase of Twitch and its 55 million+ monthly streamers. Thos people obsessively watching video streams of people playing games are in the same demographic range as the most likely cord-cutters, and it’s not coincidental. Advertisers are looking for ways to reach that demographic, and clearly cable is likely to be losing those eyeballs to streaming and other places in the years to come.