Cord-cutting, the bane of the traditional TV business, continues to outpace estimates and will climb nearly 33% this year to reach 33 million adults in the U.S., according to a new study by eMarketer.
The company defines cord-cutters as any adult who has canceled pay-TV service and continues to live without it. The data tracker had estimates the growth rate would be 22% in a study released a year ago, and noted the rise comes despite increasing efforts by distributors to deliver OTT services to traditional customers.
“Most of the major traditional TV providers [Charter, Comcast, Dish, etc.] now have some way to integrate with Netflix,” eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Christopher Bendtsen said. “These partnerships are still in the early stages, so we don’t foresee them having a significant impact reducing churn this year. With more pay TV and OTT partnerships expected in the future, combined with other strategies, providers could eventually slow—but not stop—the losses.”
In all, 186.7 million US adults will watch pay TV via cable, satellite or telecom connections in 2018, down 3.8% from 2017 levels, eMarketer said. Satellite providers will have the biggest decline, the company predicts.
Streaming services are growing at the expense of pay TV losses, eMarketer concluded. The company has increased its future viewership estimates for YouTube, Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, saying growth is being fueled by more original programming and demand for multiple services.
“The main factor fueling growth of on-demand streaming platforms is their original content,” eMarketer principal analyst Paul Verna said. “Consumers increasingly choose services on the strength of the programming they offer, and the platforms are stepping up with billions in spending on premium shows. Another factor driving the acceleration of cord-cutting is the availability of compelling and affordable live TV packages that are delivered via the internet without the need for installation fees or hardware.”
Here is a snapshot from the study that is worth clipping and saving: