The rate of ‘cord cutting’ in the United States is accelerating. In 2017 around 1.5 million subscribers cut the cord and cancelled their cable services. Now the figures for 2018 are out via analysts Leichtman Research Group and they have nearly doubled that – 2.9 million more made the snip.
While customers are dropping traditional cable packages, some are jumping over to ‘skinny bundles’ like DirecTV Now and Sling TV – but nowhere near enough to make up the conventional subscriber losses. In fact, while ‘skinny bundles’ were a big thing in 2017 with 90% growth, interest has waned in 2018 with the growth rate shrinking to 19%.
The total of customers to have made the chop since pay-TV peaked in 2012 is said to be around the 10 million mark. Even so, there’s still a big market there with 89.1 million pay-TV homes in the U.S alone at present.
The rise of SVOD services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now, Hulu, Showtime, Starz and more are often cited as the main reason for cable’s demise. The rate of that drop-off could well accelerate more as Disney+, Apple, services from WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal, and specialist channels like the Criterion collection are all set to enter the fray in the next year.