Vast majority of cord-cutters wish they’d cut traditional pay-TV subs earlier | Media Analysis | Business
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Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, financial woes and concerns about the economy, cord cutting is accelerating in the US and at a greater pace in 2020 than in previous years with nearly half of all US TV households saying now they stream more free TV since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak according to the latest Roku annual Cord-Cutting Study.
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The study provides insights into changing consumer attitudes around streaming versus traditional pay-TV among US TV households. This year the study also examined how the Covid-19 pandemic was influencing the shift to streaming and was conducted on behalf of Roku by MACRO Consulting, surveying 7,000 Americans aged 18 and over in March 2020 about their TV household. This was followed by 2,000 Americans aged 18 and over in May 2020 in order to discover changes made amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

Overall, the study found that approximately 32% of US households don’t have a traditional pay-TV subscription, while another 25% of households, identified as cord-shaver s, have cut back their service. Of these cord-shaver households, 45% stated they were likely to cut the cord fully in the next six months.

And the direction of travel seems one-way: the vast majority of cord-cutter households said they are satisfied with their decision, and wish they had cut their traditional pay-TV subscription earlier. When asked what factors drove the change from traditional pay-TV to streaming, cutting home entertainment expenses was cited as the top reason. Roku users who cut the cord said they saved approximately $75 per month, a higher average savings than cord-cutters who said they use other streaming devices. The second reason cited was access to a free or extended free trial to a streaming service.

Value was an important factor in driving cord cutting. About half of all TV households said they’ve been watching an increased amount of free, ad-supported TV services during the Covid-19 pandemic than before. Two-fifths of recent cord-cutter households say that access to free trials to premium subscription services helped convince them to cut their traditional pay-TV service.

The lack of regular sports on screen due to the pandemic has been seen as a driver of cutting back on subscriptions, even to the point of seeing some providers run into financial trouble. However, Roku's survey predicts that fewer than a fifth of recent cord-cutters were likely to go back to traditional pay-TV when sports return. Just 17% of recent cord-cutter households said they’d re-subscribe to traditional pay-TV when live sports return and 31% said that they were likely they are likely to subscribe to a new live sports streaming service.

The Roku annual Cord-Cutting Study added that over half (52%) of traditional and shaver households said they were likely to reduce their package if televised live sports on traditional pay-TV didn’t return.