Three-quarters of US consumers refuse to cut the cord | Pay-TV | News | Rapid TV News
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The discourse surrounding pay-TV over the last few years has been that of abandoning traditional services for OTT and VOD alternatives but GfK MRI research has revealed an in-built resilience of the pay-TV base in the US.
gfk cordcutting landscape 28Aug2018
Indeed, MRI’s Cord Evolution research found that while it is perfectly true to say that while cord-cutting and shaving may be challenges for pay-TV providers, the vast majority of US consumers still say they are not ready to give up on these proven and deeply established sources of entertainment. Its research found that 71% of all US consumers say they have cable, satellite, or telco TV service and have no plans to drop it. This includes the majority of the crucial 18-to-34 age group (58%), as well as 69% of people ages 35 to 49, and 80% of those 50 and over.

Reliability and comfort were the leading reasons cited for people not cutting their cords. Among adults ages 18 to 64, the top reason for keeping pay-TV was simply being “used to it,” followed by “convenient to have everything in one place” and “I need it to watch the shows I want to watch.” Young adults aged 18–34, however, are more likely to cite channel surfing and access to live content as reasons why they are sticking with their cords.

Just over half of the pay-TV loyalists in the 50-plus age group have never streamed and only access TV through traditional pay-TV services.
Yet despite such high numbers indicating their loyalty to traditional services, GfK MRI warned that there has been a 6-percentage point decline in the group professing to not wanting to cut the cord since 2015, from 77% of all US adults to 71% now. And among those 18 to 34, this metric has fallen 9 points, from 67% to 58%, in the same timeframe.

Another of the most significant trends revealed in the survey was that large numbers of pay-TV subscribers were actually adding to their cord services rather than replacing them. Over half (55%) of pay-TV loyalists were found to be ‘stacking’ other services – such as subscription streaming video-on-demand services – on top of cable or satellite access. Among 18-to-34 loyalists, the proportion of ‘stackers’ rises to 76%.

“The fact is that pay-TV services still account for most of the TV watching that happens in the US,” said Amy Hunt, VP of TVideo Media Sales at MRI and author of the Cord Evolution research. “Many of their subscribers simply cannot imagine a new way of doing things. But as younger generations more comfortable with streaming technologies set up households, cable and satellite companies need to find ways to remain attractive and relevant.”