Meet the cord nevers, a subset of Millennials
They're not cord cutters. These are people who never had pay TV.
January 23, 2017
Millennials are often portrayed as cord cutters, getting rid of their pay TV subscriptions in order to save money and making them more difficult to reach with traditional advertising.
But there’s a significant subset of Millennials who aren’t corder cutters – they’re cord nevers, people who have never paid for a cable or satellite TV subscription in their adult lives.
These people are more common than you might think. A recent Pew Research Center survey put them at 9 percent of the population.
For young Millennials, that share is even higher. A stunning 35 percent of adults 18-29 are cord nevers, says Kelly Scott Madison, a Chicago agency that recently published a report delving into Millennials’ media habits.
The agency argues it may be more important for media people to monitor cord nevers than cord cutters.
“This is the group to watch because their tolerance for limited access to new and mainstream TV inventory is high and their entertainment choices are driven by cost effectiveness and an on-demand approach to content,” says the report.
TV nevers? Not quite
These people do still watch some television. They can view broadcast if they have an antennae. They subscribe to over-the-top services. And some piggyback on others’ subscriptions.
“Many in this subgroup are still exposed to linear TV through shared living situations, either with friends or family,” says Elizabeth Kalmbach, vice president and group media director at the agency.
She also notes that Millennials overall consume more digital video than other demographics. So while they may not be watching “The Walking Dead” on AMC, they’re probably watching it via Amazon Prime. They’re also watching YouTube videos and content on Vice and Facebook Live.
Buyers would be wise to track their other options, she says.
“As the marketplace evolves with more over-the-top paywalls, cable and streaming partnerships and overall options, it will be particularly interesting to see how they adjust and which platforms they think are worthwhile investments,” Kalmbach says.
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