According to a report in Variety, by the end of 2017 an estimated 22 million Americans will have cut the cord and ditch traditional TV providers like cable and satellite in favor of more a la carte options on the Internet. Variety cites a report from research firm eMarketer for the data.
The report indicates that this is a continuing trend, building off of the number of people who cut the cord in 2016 of 16.7 million people. The figure is higher than expected, according to eMarketer, and also is an indication that the nature of TV is changing when looked in tandem with the rising number of people who say they have never and never will get cable or satellite.
The people cutting the cord or not getting the cord at all for the most part are still watching TV -- be it on the Internet or through different services. This is not an abandonment of television, but rather a migration of it away from traditional providers to new platforms and services on the Internet.
According to the report, the number of people circumventing traditional TV suppliers is going to keep growing, and by 2021 an estimated 30% of all Americans will be without cable or satellite and depending on the Internet for video and programming.
As this trend continues, more and more content providers and social platforms are getting into producing content for the web. Almost every major American TV network now has its own streaming service, although some require you to have a cable account, and major social platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat are all racing for video content to compete in this growing market.
This is good news for producers. With more options for distribution and seemingly infinite demand for video content, this is a great time to be professionally producing video. Whether you are making a series, or just short videos for web, people are no longer exclusively seeing what is on network TV for what they should watch. People are more likely now to find alternative programming that is more in line with their personal interests than whatever NBC or CBS thinks you will like. Younger audiences seek out what they want to watch and have completely changed the media landscape.
All of this is to say that it is a great time to be producing content. As companies and platforms are desperate for a share of the viewing audience on the web they need content to fill the void all the time.
Someone has to make it, why not you?
In 2017, a total of 22.2 million U.S. adults will have cut the cord on cable, satellite or telco TV service to date — up 33% from 16.7 million in 2016 — the researcher now predicts. That’s significantly higher than eMarketer’s prior estimate of 15.4 million cord-cutters as of the end of this year. Meanwhile, the number of “cord-nevers” (consumers who have never subscribed to pay TV) will rise 5.8% this year, to 34.4 million.
“Younger audiences continue to switch to either exclusively watching [over-the-top] video or watching them in combination with free-TV options,” said Chris Bendtsen, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer. “Last year, even the Olympics and [the U.S.] presidential election could not prevent younger audiences from abandoning pay TV.”
Overall, 196.3 million U.S. adults will have traditional pay TV (cable, satellite or telco) this year, down 2.4% compared with 2016, eMarketer predicts. By 2021, that will drop to 181.7 million, a decline of nearly 10% from 2016. The number of pay-TV viewers 55 and older will continue to rise over the next four years, while for every other age cohort the subscriber tallies will decline.
By 2021, the number of cord-cutters will nearly equal the number of people who have never had pay TV — a total of 81 million U.S. adults. That means around 30% of American adults won’t have traditional pay TV at that point, per eMarketer’s revised forecast.
Read the full report here.