The number of US cord-cutters has tripled since 2013

midian182

Posts: 5,988   +50
Staff member

Are you a cord-cutter who has chosen to abandon cable and satellite in favor of streaming services? It’s a trend that has exploded over last few years. According to a new report from the Video Advertising Bureau, the number of US households using only over-the-top (OTT) streaming services has almost tripled since 2013.

Five years ago, the number of streaming-only homes in America stood at just over 5 million. In 2017, that figure had jumped to 14.1 million. The report adds that the majority of these households have at least two different streaming services, while 32 percent use three or more.

14.1 million might sound like an impressive amount, but it still represents just 11 percent of all US TV households. More homes—15 million, or 12 percent—receive broadcast network signals using an over-the-air digital TV antenna.

Unsurprisingly, it’s the big-name services like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, and Hulu that are encouraging more homes to become streaming-only. The top four firms account for 80 percent of OTT viewing hours. But streaming still makes up a small amount of overall TV viewing time—11 percent for those aged 18 to 49 during October 2017.

Interestingly, 70 percent of households that subscribe to a streaming service also had a cable, satellite, or telco TV subscription. As streaming companies continue to improve and expand the range of content they offer, more people could decide to leave cable entirely. The report forecasts that the number of OTT-only homes will grow by 8.2 percent to 17.9 million by 2021, while those that mix cable and streaming will fall by 2.4 percent.

According to a related report from eMarketer (via TechCrunch), TV ad spending will decline in 2018 following an initial drop last year. The US presidential election and Tokyo Olympics will see spending shoot up in 2020, but it will fall again by 2022.

“Over-the-top platforms are growing in number and size, and many compete directly with pay TV by offering bundles of live channels at attractive price points,” said eMarketer principal analyst Paul Verna. “Consumers who want to cut or shave the cord now have a wealth of options that didn’t exist a couple of years ago. And we expect the offerings to become even more robust as more players enter the market,” he added.

Permalink to story.

 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,369   +5,785
If you have CHARTER or SPECTRA they will call you after you drop the cable TV and offer you all sorts of goodies, but BEWARE! If you turn them down they will start a campaign of calling week after week and their salespeople assume you want them to sign you up and do so for the free trial. I blocked them from my phone, they checked and they signed me up anyway. I cancelled and threatened legal action. They have not called again but I have suddenly developed an "intermittent service" problem with the signal driving the TV side. Not the regular internet service, just the band the Ruko TV ...... now isn't that interesting!?!?!?!!!!
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,378   +2,912
If you have CHARTER or SPECTRA they will call you after you drop the cable TV and offer you all sorts of goodies, but BEWARE! If you turn them down they will start a campaign of calling week after week and their salespeople assume you want them to sign you up and do so for the free trial. I blocked them from my phone, they checked and they signed me up anyway. I cancelled and threatened legal action. They have not called again but I have suddenly developed an "intermittent service" problem with the signal driving the TV side. Not the regular internet service, just the band the Ruko TV ...... now isn't that interesting!?!?!?!!!!
Try running it through a VPN I'm possible. I was able to record the speed on Netflix with a VPN on and off. With my VPN on it was able to stream 4k no problem. With it off I was bouncing back and fourth between 720p and 1080p with the stream buffering Comcast. I called them up and threatened to switch and was able to get in contact with a representative that I emailed my finds to. Problem stopped when I threatened to switch to FiOS. That was a bluff because they aren't in my neighborhood yet but that was enough to put an end to the problem.

They sent a service guy to my house to "fix" my connection. He changed a coax spilter on the outside of the house. First thing I did was check the signal level on the lines when it started and it was more than fine. It was just for show.
 

fl21289

Posts: 111   +99
I'm sure the numbers are way higher in the amount of cord cutters. Take for example my self... I have Xfinity as my ISP, but my internet plan comes with basic tv line up. Meaning that even tho I have their cable box unplugged in the closet, in their system they are providing me "Cable" when I only use it for internet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: skipmichael

Prosercunus

Posts: 286   +130
I occasionally subscribe to Playstation Vue. It doesn't cost any more than my rip off of a cable package from my local provider and has more premium channels. The big advantage besides there is no hardware to hook up except the hardware I already own/have, no BS DVR to install and I can cancel any time and resubscribe anytime at only a few mouse clicks and I don't have to sit there and return their equipment.

I just can't justify cable or satellite packages at this point. My Gig internet is cheaper than the premium cable option at my provider.
 
  • Like
Reactions: skipmichael

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,359   +3,444
I had TW internet with Dish Network TV. I dropped Dish Network almost four years ago now, and I have never had TW (now Spectrum) ask me about subscribing to their TV services.

I do both OTA and streaming - Netflix and Hulu, and one show my wife watches by subscription from iTunes. I could not be happier, and at this point, I will never go back to subscription TV, nor will I subscribe to streaming offerings that have live, local TV - what would be the point? I have OTA in an HTPC that lets me do all the time-shifting I want without the hassle of a monthly bill for it. The HTPC and everything that I bought to do OTA was paid for in savings over Dish Network, and with OTA - I get something like 30+ channels, some of which I do not watch, but that is like having cable as it is.

When ATSC 3.0 hits the OTA scene, it should eliminate reception problems with ATSC 1.0 - the current OTA standard, and it may also significantly increase the number of distant stations that are available that I cannot receive now.

Most of the streaming services that have cropped up since Netflix and Hulu are simply attempts at the pay TV industry to replace their falling numbers with even more expensive versions of themselves. It may be convenient, but as I see it, it is possible to do better with OTA. As for sports, I don't watch any, but if I did, I would subscribe to the NHL's Center Ice package and still do far better than with any other subscription service.

For many shows, Hulu is nearly live with many first-run series being available the day after the episode runs. As I said, I will never go back to subscription TV.

And I agree with fl21289 - I am willing to bet the actual numbers are higher, and that the rate of people dropping pay TV will be higher as well. In those numbers, I do not see anyone like me, I.e., streaming and OTA, though I know many people stream and have OTA.
 

ShagnWagn

Posts: 1,297   +1,081
You can add me to the list if someone can help me figure out how to cut the cord using a Home Theater Computer. I have been unable to find a service that allows this. I do not want to spend the extra money just to buy yet another device when a computer can do much more. I have looked into expanding Kodi beyond my own movie library, but several sources say I need to use a VPN. They also say these 3rd party add-ons for Kodi may give full access to my personal library.

Any help? I would be much appreciated!

Edit: I am mainly just interested in a large selection of movies with 1080p+ video and full surround sound as I have a theater.
 

TomSEA

Posts: 3,267   +1,909
Still not viable for me. I am a huge fan of NFL and NCAA football and also follow other sports via ESPN/ESPN2, Fox Sports and the PAC-12 channel. Then there's a handful of channels I regularly view, particularly A&E, History and AMC.

To get all of those, I'd have to subscribe to 3 different streaming packages PLUS an internet provider costing me $50 more a month than what I pay to Comcast.

Until someone comes up with a way to consolidate the sports offerings I want into a single package, I'm stuck with Comcast or DISH.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,359   +3,444
You can add me to the list if someone can help me figure out how to cut the cord using a Home Theater Computer. I have been unable to find a service that allows this. I do not want to spend the extra money just to buy yet another device when a computer can do much more. I have looked into expanding Kodi beyond my own movie library, but several sources say I need to use a VPN. They also say these 3rd party add-ons for Kodi may give full access to my personal library.

Any help? I would be much appreciated!

Edit: I am mainly just interested in a large selection of movies with 1080p+ video and full surround sound as I have a theater.
@ShagnWagn
Have a look at this - https://www.team-mediaportal.com/
That is what I use. Yes, it is Windows based, but if you can live with that, it works great - it will even allow your HTPC to hibernate, then wake it for recordings.

It does take a bit to set up, however, the forums there are very helpful if you get stuck with anything.

I am in the US, and I use networked OTA tuners from https://www.silicondust.com/

EDIT: It does have facilities to set-up a library.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: ShagnWagn

p51d007

Posts: 2,479   +1,750
And with the loss of cable/satellite subscribers, the OBVIOUS thing for them to do is....
drum roll please...RAISE THEIR RATES! Yeah! That will attract more user! LOL
Considering the garbage on the cable shows, why bother?
99% of it seems like those stupid (non) reality shows, talk shows, game shows.
The history channel use to be my favorite channel. Saturday they actually had HISTORY
but most of the time it's those stupid axe/swamp/pawn/picker shows that I can't
believe are popular.
 
  • Like
Reactions: wiyosaya

EClyde

Posts: 2,304   +905
I like TV. There are times there is nothing I care to watch and my bill is more then I like. Overall though there is some very good entertainment on DTV. As for cutting the cord? Well if you can and want to that's fine but the entertainment you will get is no different from that I get and you have less to choose from and probably will cost you less. My point is then cutting the cord does not make you cool....similar to how NOT belonging to FB does not make you cool either.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ZackL04

ZackL04

Posts: 675   +437
Still not viable for me. I am a huge fan of NFL and NCAA football and also follow other sports via ESPN/ESPN2, Fox Sports and the PAC-12 channel. Then there's a handful of channels I regularly view, particularly A&E, History and AMC.

To get all of those, I'd have to subscribe to 3 different streaming packages PLUS an internet provider costing me $50 more a month than what I pay to Comcast.

Until someone comes up with a way to consolidate the sports offerings I want into a single package, I'm stuck with Comcast or DISH.
Have you tried Playstation Vue?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rage4order

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,359   +3,444
And with the loss of cable/satellite subscribers, the OBVIOUS thing for them to do is....
drum roll please...RAISE THEIR RATES! Yeah! That will attract more user! LOL
Considering the garbage on the cable shows, why bother?
99% of it seems like those stupid (non) reality shows, talk shows, game shows.
The history channel use to be my favorite channel. Saturday they actually had HISTORY
but most of the time it's those stupid axe/swamp/pawn/picker shows that I can't
believe are popular.
A long, long, long, long, time ago, in a galaxy far, far, far, far away, The Learning Channel used to be great, too. LOL
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,359   +3,444
I like TV. There are times there is nothing I care to watch and my bill is more then I like. Overall though there is some very good entertainment on DTV. As for cutting the cord? Well if you can and want to that's fine but the entertainment you will get is no different from that I get and you have less to choose from and probably will cost you less. My point is then cutting the cord does not make you cool....similar to how NOT belonging to FB does not make you cool either.
For me, I find that my choices are substaintial with both Netflix and Hulu; either way, there is too much to watch no matter how you get your TV. I sort of miss MSNBC, in the absence of watching that, I have more valuable pursuits to occupy my time. ;)

I chose to cut the cord because of cost; I was paying $85/mo. Between my wife and I, we were watching about five channels - with much of that coming from "OTA" rebroadcast by Dish. From my viewpoint, I do not see a "cool factor." Rather, I see a value factor, and if you ask others like me, rather than assume we are pursuing a "cool factor," my bet is that you will find that most are pursuing the "value factor."
 
I like TV. There are times there is nothing I care to watch and my bill is more then I like. Overall though there is some very good entertainment on DTV. As for cutting the cord? Well if you can and want to that's fine but the entertainment you will get is no different from that I get and you have less to choose from and probably will cost you less. My point is then cutting the cord does not make you cool....similar to how NOT belonging to FB does not make you cool either.
So paying three times as much for tv service makes you cool then?? If you are at least a tad bit tech savvy, there are PLENTY of ways we cord-cutters can find whatever we might not get through our streaming service. I dropped DTV over two years ago and do not miss it at all.
 
  • Like
Reactions: wiyosaya

jizzyburnizzy

Posts: 74   +19
I dropped directTV about 2 years ago and switched to Sling. We get all the same channels that we watched before but now we only pay $20/month vs $100/month. Also we have never had any streaming/buffering/lag issues on Sling whereas we had a few issues with reception during storms while using Directv.
 
  • Like
Reactions: skipmichael

Evernessince

Posts: 5,311   +5,772
If you have CHARTER or SPECTRA they will call you after you drop the cable TV and offer you all sorts of goodies, but BEWARE! If you turn them down they will start a campaign of calling week after week and their salespeople assume you want them to sign you up and do so for the free trial. I blocked them from my phone, they checked and they signed me up anyway. I cancelled and threatened legal action. They have not called again but I have suddenly developed an "intermittent service" problem with the signal driving the TV side. Not the regular internet service, just the band the Ruko TV ...... now isn't that interesting!?!?!?!!!!
They did the same thing to me. They also claim I only have the 30 Mbps plan and will not give existing customers the 100 mbps. I was getting 60 mpbs under time warner with the extreme plan. I'm going to be filing a complaint to the attorney general, these guys are just scumbags. I would advise everyone having similar problems to do the same. They stopped posting speeds on your bill (paper and online) so now you need to call them and hope they didn't change if for you.

If you have CHARTER or SPECTRA they will call you after you drop the cable TV and offer you all sorts of goodies, but BEWARE! If you turn them down they will start a campaign of calling week after week and their salespeople assume you want them to sign you up and do so for the free trial. I blocked them from my phone, they checked and they signed me up anyway. I cancelled and threatened legal action. They have not called again but I have suddenly developed an "intermittent service" problem with the signal driving the TV side. Not the regular internet service, just the band the Ruko TV ...... now isn't that interesting!?!?!?!!!!
Try running it through a VPN I'm possible. I was able to record the speed on Netflix with a VPN on and off. With my VPN on it was able to stream 4k no problem. With it off I was bouncing back and fourth between 720p and 1080p with the stream buffering Comcast. I called them up and threatened to switch and was able to get in contact with a representative that I emailed my finds to. Problem stopped when I threatened to switch to FiOS. That was a bluff because they aren't in my neighborhood yet but that was enough to put an end to the problem.

They sent a service guy to my house to "fix" my connection. He changed a coax spilter on the outside of the house. First thing I did was check the signal level on the lines when it started and it was more than fine. It was just for show.
I actually have FIOS in my area and they still didn't care. Oh well, I'll switch at the end of the billing period.
 
  • Like
Reactions: wiyosaya

TomSEA

Posts: 3,267   +1,909
Still not viable for me. I am a huge fan of NFL and NCAA football and also follow other sports via ESPN/ESPN2, Fox Sports and the PAC-12 channel. Then there's a handful of channels I regularly view, particularly A&E, History and AMC.

To get all of those, I'd have to subscribe to 3 different streaming packages PLUS an internet provider costing me $50 more a month than what I pay to Comcast.

Until someone comes up with a way to consolidate the sports offerings I want into a single package, I'm stuck with Comcast or DISH.
Have you tried Playstation Vue?
I've looked at it, and it's damn close to what I'd like. Missing the PAC-12 channel though and that's a biggee. If they pick that up, I'll be all over it.
 

indiferenc

Posts: 50   +53
I like TV. There are times there is nothing I care to watch and my bill is more then I like. Overall though there is some very good entertainment on DTV. As for cutting the cord? Well if you can and want to that's fine but the entertainment you will get is no different from that I get and you have less to choose from and probably will cost you less. My point is then cutting the cord does not make you cool....similar to how NOT belonging to FB does not make you cool either.
cutting the cord doesnt make me cool, but paying less for superior content, with no commercials, does
 
Still not viable for me. I am a huge fan of NFL and NCAA football and also follow other sports via ESPN/ESPN2, Fox Sports and the PAC-12 channel. Then there's a handful of channels I regularly view, particularly A&E, History and AMC.

To get all of those, I'd have to subscribe to 3 different streaming packages PLUS an internet provider costing me $50 more a month than what I pay to Comcast.

Until someone comes up with a way to consolidate the sports offerings I want into a single package, I'm stuck with Comcast or DISH.
Have you tried Playstation Vue?
I've looked at it, and it's damn close to what I'd like. Missing the PAC-12 channel though and that's a biggee. If they pick that up, I'll be all over it.
Have you looked at YouTube TV?
 
I never liked the term "cord cutters" when half the people "streaming" still have cable to get internet access to stream their programs.There are quite a few people I know that are tired of the costs all around especially from comcast and are using firestix and broadcast digital boxes.Imagine how cheap cable/internet access would be and or better options available if everyone decided to stop their service around the same time ...
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,359   +3,444
Why would you want to attach your Computer to your home theater? I too have a home theater and a computer. An android box is soo much better for viewing you TV. My electric bill dropped 10% after purchase of TV box over a cable box. You can view Netflix, Hulu, and all the rest at no cost and commercial free. You don't need a Shield. There are cheaper boxes out there. You want to be cable free, this is how you do it. By the way your computer can not do so much more. Interested to know what more you want from a home theater besides watching any and all HD movies & TV shows, sports, concerts, police scanners, and everything else that is broadcast.
Blu-ray and 4K UHD Blu-ray can be done on PC. I still prefer the quality that BR and UHD BR offer over streamed options. Even with Netflix Dolby Digital Plus, the audio is better on the disks.

Get a GTX 1050 Ti or above, and you can get 4K Netflix - and that is soon to be extended to some AMD gpus, too.

There is a lot more flexibility, as I see it anyway, with an HTPC, and done right, it fits well in a home theater without extra noise, etc. As for electrical power, that can also be done right, too, by picking the right cpu/graphics cards, etc. It really does not take much computing power for a media PC.
 

ShagnWagn

Posts: 1,297   +1,081
Why would you want to attach your Computer to your home theater? I too have a home theater and a computer. An android box is soo much better for viewing you TV. My electric bill dropped 10% after purchase of TV box over a cable box. You can view Netflix, Hulu, and all the rest at no cost and commercial free. You don't need a Shield. There are cheaper boxes out there. You want to be cable free, this is how you do it. By the way your computer can not do so much more. Interested to know what more you want from a home theater besides watching any and all HD movies & TV shows, sports, concerts, police scanners, and everything else that is broadcast.
Mine is a HTPC gaming rig. I play PC games on it. I also have my entire library of blu ray ISOs and others through Kodi.
What else can it do? More like what *can't* it do. Internet browsing. Full keyboard and mouse. Email. It's a full on workstation.
 

Jimster480

Posts: 118   +108
I think the real reason there aren't more cord cutters is due to bundles... basically the major telcos are giving away TV in order to force everyone to keep it.
I actually don't know a single person younger than me or even my age (28) that watches DTV. Everyone watches Netflix for the most part with some people watching HBO, Amazon, Hulu or others.
I personally only ever watch basketball on my DTV that is essentially free.... if I had to pay for it well then it would be gone tomorrow.

So overall the graph is misleading because the average younger person especially watches approx ZERO television.