Study: 5 Percent of Millennials Plan to Cut TV Cord

Illustration by: Paweł Jońca

A study of media consumption was presented at a conference in New York

If a survey of 2,400 consumers is accurate, pay TV distributors are about to lose 5 percent of their younger customers (ages 24-34).

The findings of a Media Consumption Survey were presented on Thursday at the Goldman Sachs 23rd Annual Communacopia Conference in New York by Mike Vorhaus at Frank N. Magid Associates. The survey was taken in early June.

Among the wider population of those surveyed, those saying they intend to cut the cord was 2.9 percent, which might not sound like a lot, but would represent millions of customers and is more than the 2.2 percent in 2012 who said they would soon cancel pay TV.

Why are people cutting the cord? According to the survey, 76 percent say they are satisfied with what’s coming to them over-the-top, whether that be streamed TV shows or digital content on YouTube and other websites. Not surprisingly, about 40 percent rate their customer service from cable and satellite companies fair or worse.

The nation’s average consumer is now said to average 7.3 hours of TV daily — broken down as 3.37 hours of live TV, 1.9 hours of DVR or VOD content and 2.06 hours on digital devices.

The amount of people who say they can’t live without their TV remains steady at 57 percent, but among 18-to-34-year-olds, TV as the primary medium for entertainment is down 40 percent to 21 percent. Those who say they can’t live without their smartphones is up sharply in the last three years — from 22 percent to 50 percent.

The survey also says that 59 percent of U.S. households pay for a subscription video-on-demand service, with Netflix representing 43 percent of them.

Says Vorhaus, “I don’t believe TV is dying. I don’t believe it’s in the golden age either, but there are a lot of platforms.”

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