One in eight consumers will eliminate or scale back their cable, satellite or other pay-TV service this year, according to a new study released this week by Yankee Group.
The study, which was the result of a survey of pay-TV operators and more than 6,000 U.S. consumers, found that many will choose to drop premium channels or cut their service down to a basic package, while others will choose to cut off their service completely.
A cutting-the-cord trend has been the subject of speculation for some time, as networks have increasingly made television programming available for free on the Internet. But a combination of other factors, including a growing number of battles between cable companies and networks, soaring Internet video viewings and an increase in connected TVs and devices, suggest the trend is finally upon us.
“Admittedly, this is a small phenomenon now, but a number or recent transactions and new items point to a shift in consumer thinking,” said Vince Vittore, analyst at Yankee Group and author of the study.
Going without cable or satellite is unthinkable to many Americans — just over 90% of U.S. households subscribe to some form of pay TV. But just as mobile phones have replaced many customers’ land-line service, Vittore said on-demand Internet video will soon whittle that 90% figure down.