With the rise of over-the-top (OTT) content and the proliferation of broadband, many industry pundits predicted that cord cutting—the process through which homeowners stop paying for cable and instead watch OTT content that’s delivered via the Internet—would gain momentum.
But time proves that cord cutting is simply not happening to the degree anticipated.
“The reality is that the pace of cord cutting remains a drip, drip, drip,” says Craig Moffett, a cable industry analyst. “It’s not the torrent that has been projected.”
Sure, there are more cord cutters today than there were five years ago, but people aren’t any more likely to cut their cords today than they were in the past. In fact, according to Moffett, only a measly 2 percent of the population has gone ahead and cut their cords (and some of these customers may decide to re-connect in the future.)
A deeper dive into the numbers, however, reveals that millennials are cutting their cords—or never getting them—in favor of consuming OTT content. According to recent research, 19 percent of millennials don’t have pay-TV. And of that number, nearly all of them say they have no plans to get it in the future. But that makes some sense, as millennials grew up with the Internet. So it follows that they are more used to getting their entertainment actively via the Web vs. passively through traditional television.
While cord cutting isn’t a problem for cable operators today, who knows what the future holds? At the end of the day, consumers need broadband access to consume OTT content. So, as long as cable operators are positioned to provide that access, they’re in good shape no matter what.