Why Are Cord Cutters Cutting Cords?

New Edge  It’s no secret that more and more American households are doing without pay-TV service. Market research firm GfK has estimated the percentage of cord cutting households in the U.S. to be as high as 25%.

To better understand this phenomenon, it would be helpful to have some insight into the reasons behind the cord cutters' actions. That’s exactly what TiVo has attempted to do in their recently-released “Q4 Video Trends Report: Consumer Behavior Across Pay-TV, VOD, PPV, OTT, TVE, Streaming Devices, and Content Discovery.”

TiVo surveyed more than 3,000 consumers in the U.S. and Canada, 18 years of age and older. Of those respondents who did not have a pay-TV provider, 19.8% had cut cable/satellite service in the past 12 months, 48.1% cut the cord more than a year ago, and 32.1% never had cable/satellite service. Asked their reasons for cutting cable/satellite service, 80.1% said that the price was too expensive, 48.3% use an internet streaming service, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, etc., and 27.2% use an antenna to get the basic channels on their TV.

Of those who take service from a pay-TV provider, 24.1% were “very satisfied,” 54.2% “satisfied,” and 21.7% “dissatisfied.” The top reasons for dissatisfaction were too “expensive/increasing fees for cable satellite service” (80.8%), “poor customer service” (34.5%), and “bad channel selection” (29.0%.)

Of those customers who recently added new services, 47.6% added new channels, 25.9% added premium channels, 25.4% added high definition (HD) service, and 20.3% added a DVR. Tellingly, however, premium channels as an added service decreased by 7.5% from 2015 and by 11.8% from 2014.

More than three-quarters of survey respondents—76.6%— said they would like to have the option to pay for only the channels they watch, up from 73.6% a year earlier. Survey respondents would like to have, on average, 18 channels in their à la carte bundle, and would ideally like to pay $25.82 per month, or $1.68 per channel.

Respondents’ favorite channels? ABC was first, at 56.3%, followed by Discovery Channel (55.4%), CBS (51.7%), History Channel (50.7%), and NBC (50.2%).

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