The concept of cord-cutting is very real, so much so that, in a new study, Roku has confirmed that within the next five years, streaming TV viewers in the U.S. could surpass traditional pay TV viewers.
The Roku 2019 Cord Cutting study predicts that approximately 60 million TV households are expected to access video on their TV exclusively through streaming within the next five years. If this happens, for the first time, streamers will surpass traditional Pay TV viewers.
Overall U.S. market data suggests two million Americans have already ‘cut the cord' so far in 2019, moving from traditional Pay TV (cable or satellite television subscriptions). That's after 3.5 million people gave up traditional Pay TV video subscriptions in 2018. Consumers who are already streaming include Cord Cutters, who are TV households that previously had Pay TV, Cord Shavers who may pay for traditional cable but have reduced their package in the last few years, and Cord Nevers, those who have never had Pay TV.
Roku finds a shift in attitudes, behaviours, and viewership among the new generation of cord cutters. Their viewing behaviour more closely mirrors that of average mainstream TV viewers. However, this new generation of Cord Cutters seek out better value and choice in how they consume TV.
The Roku Cord Cutting study points to factors that are driving the acceleration of cord cutting including. First is virtual multichannel video programming distributors (vMVPDs), which offer a bridge for consumers who want to cut the cord but don't want to miss out on network and live TV programming that traditional Pay TV services offer. When consumers become aware that they can stream the same live local channels, including sports, news, reality, and top network channels with an electronic programming guide (EPG) and video on demand (VOD) at a reduced price, some of their barriers to cord cutting are removed.
Second is an abundance of high-quality content available through streaming. Companies who offer subscription video on demand services (SVOD) are spending billions on creating and promoting award-winning original content.
Viewers are also finding value in the ability to watch ad-supported video on demand (AVOD). In fact, 73% of all video streamers in the Roku study watch AVOD and 45% watch more free TV than any other streaming video option. Many Cord Cutters don't mind viewing video ads in exchange for viewing free entertainment. In contrast, many traditional linear TV viewers reported in the study that there are too many ads within the content they watch.
Of those surveyed for the Roku study, 74% say streaming is more convenient than Pay TV services and 89% report that using a streaming device is very easy.
Roku's analysis of the Cord Cutting study shows that 82% of all Cord Cutters who participated in the study are extremely satisfied with their decision to cut the cord while 92% of Roku customers shared the same sentiment.
"This report shows there is a huge, new generation of streamers who enjoy live and free TV and are extremely satisfied with the decision to watch TV without cable or satellite," says Matthew Anderson, Roku's Chief Marketing Officer. "Half of Roku's U.S. customers don't have traditional cable and satellite subscriptions and they enjoy the value, ease and breadth of content we offer them. The Roku study shows that the shift to streaming is more popular and growing faster than ever before."
Roku conducted its second annual comprehensive study on the TV household landscape with participation from 7,000 U.S. adults age 18 and over, and 12,000 Roku account-holding U.S. adults age 18 and over.
View results from the full study, "The New Generation of Cord Cutters."