The looming threat that pay TV giants have been worried about is keeps getting more and more serious as cord-cutting continues to morph from a trend to a phenomenon.
In a newly pubished study by research firm eMarketer, it is predicted that 22.2 million U.S. adults will cut the cord on their cable, satellite or telco TV service this year – up by 33% on last year.
That’s far more than the original estimates earlier in the year of 15.4 million cord-cutters for 2017. Overall, 196.3 million U.S. adults will have traditional pay TV (cable, satellite or telco) this year, down 2.4% compared with 2016.
That number is expected to drop to 181.7 million by 2021 at the latest. While the number of senior viewers (aged 55 or over) is tipped to rise, every other age bracket is expected to decline so by that point 81 million U.S. adults, around 30% of American, won’t use traditional pay TV by the end of the decade.
Additionally, the percentage of consumers who have never subscribed to pay TV will also rise by 5.8% this year to 34.4 million.
People are also watching less traditional television as, for the first time, average TV viewing (excluding digital) in the U.S. this year is expected to drop below four hours per day. At the same time digital-video consumption is climbing with 77 minutes per day to be the average in 2017 – up by 9.3%.