Cord-cutters not looking back: 84% happy to leave pay-TV

According to new research from nScreenMedia, 84% of US broadband consumers that have cut the cord are at least somewhat happy with their decision. The news gets worse for pay-TV providers: 37% are so happy they vow they will never come back.

In the new free report nScreen nSights: View My Video – Consumer Digital Media Consumption, nScreenMedia reveals that 17% of US broadband consumers say they had pay-TV and now no longer have it. 10% say they have never subscribed to pay-TV, and 74% say they currently have it.

The bulk of the cord-cutters come from people in the 18–49 age range. Millennials, those aged between 18 and 29, are heavily represented in the group that have never had pay-TV services. 19% report they do not have pay-TV, while just 5% of those in the 29-49 age range say this.

For the most part, people that have cut the cord are happy with their decision to do so. 84% are at least somewhat happy with their decision to leave pay-TV behind, with 37% saying they will never go back to the service. Just 17% are unhappy with decision, and 9% wish they still had the service.

This is not good news for pay-TV service providers. If the companies are to reverse the downward trend in subscriptions they need to find a way to appeal to this growing group of defectors. Clearly price is a strong factor in the decision of consumers to leave pay-TV. So, part of any solution the industry tries to win back defectors must include lower priced options. However, are there other things the industry can do to appeal to cord-cutters?

nScreenMedia asked the cord cutters what features they missed most about pay-TV. 31% said they missed shows they couldn’t find anywhere else. Programs like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead are clearly having some impact on this group, but other content types thought to be “anchor tenants” of pay-TV do not appear to affect this group. In particular, sports channels were cited by just 9% of survey respondents as something they missed. 30% were adamant that they missed absolutely nothing pay-TV offers.

One of the things pay-TV has started to try is creative bundles of broadband and content to try and lure non-subscribers. Verizon and AT&T are both trialing broadband anchored packages including HBO. For $50 a month, Verizon will provide 50 mbps broadband, local TV channels and HBO. AT&T provides 18 mbps broadband, basic TV and HBO for $39 a month. The nScreenMedia research suggests this approach will have little impact on the cord cutters. Just 6% said they missed premium movie services such as HBO and Showtime.

The report View My Video also provides data on video service adoption and usage, video device ownership and special section on millennial media consumers. The report is available immediately for free from the nScreenMedia website.


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