The truth about cord cutting? More talk than snips.
People go on aboutit, yapping on social media about how they want to
March 20, 2017
Cord cutting is a really big deal.
While there is numerical evidence to back up the fact that a small number people are dropping their pay TV subscriptions, including quarterly data on subscriber losses dating back several years now, some of the evidence is also anecdotal.
It’s people saying they intend to cut their subscriptions, but then not actually following through. And that’s become more and more common as the idea of cord cutting has gone mainstream.
That’s the suggestion of a new report from Crimson Hexagon, a social media analytics company, which tracked cord cutting discussions across social networks.
Its most intriguing finding: Discussion of cord cutting is way more common than actually cutting the cord.
The study began tracking mentions of cord cutting back in 2013. At the end of that year, Crimson Hexagon recorded roughly 20,000 posts about it.
Just a year later, that had increased to 120,000.
Discussions have fluctuated from 80,000 to 70,000 per quarter since then. They then spiked again to 120,000 during third quarter of last year.
Yet Crimson Hexagon found that, during that same time, the number of cable households rose very slowly and didn’t come close to even doubling, let alone rising sixfold.
That means most people who float the idea of cord cutting aren’t following through.
Reasons to dump pay TV
These conversations are driven by three main concerns: cutting down on costs, poor customer service from cable, telecom or satellite companies, or a desire to avoid commercials and ads.
Still, these conversations do not mention the reasons for sticking with pay TV, including convenience and access to content that can’t be duplicated online.
Plus, there’s the inertia factor. It takes an effort to to cut the cord. It’s much easier to complain about the things you don’t like yet make no movement to change.
Alternatives to pay TV
The research also highlights which services people look to as alternatives to pay TV.
Crimson Hexagon says Netflix has long held the largest share of conversation about non-cable services, though Apple TV enjoyed a sharp uptick in 2014.
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