Nearly 200,000 people ditched paid television in the second quarter of this year, many in favor of streaming options like Netflix and Hulu. It’s not unusual for cable providers to lose subscribers, but most of the time those losses are picked up by satellite or IPTV suppliers.
Collectively, the top eight pay television providers reported a loss of 193,000 subscribers in the most recent quarter. Tech blog Gigaom say that there are at least a few reasons why users are cutting the cord.
Telco companies AT&T and Verizon were among three of eight providers that reported positive numbers. AT&T’s paid customer rate increased by 202,000 while Verizon’s subscriber base grew by 184,000. Regardless, heavy losses from Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Dish Network kept the group in the negative.
It’s likely that consumers are dropping services for two reasons. A struggling economy is the most obvious answer, especially in rural communities that have been hit hard by the recession. Comcast’s average revenue per user (ARPU) sits around $140, money that could go a long way to pay more important bills under a tight budget.
Cord cutters are also likely finding new homes with Netflix and Hulu Plus. Earlier this year, Netflix reported the same number of subscribers as Comcast. Hulu Plus adoption is also on the rise and the company could be on track for one million subscribers by summer’s end.
I recently joined the ranks of the “cord cutters” after paying nearly $160 per month for Comcast television and Internet services. I found that I simply didn’t watch enough television to justify the price I was paying. My monthly bill for Internet now sits at $65 and I pay $8.55 per month for Netflix’s streaming-only service.
Have you recently canceled paid television service or considering doing so in the near future?