Note: An earlier version of this piece has been updated and modified.
A piece of information from Forrester Research says that 24% of Americans don’t subscribe to a pay TV service, and what’s more, 18% are cord-nevers. They aren’t cutters. They haven’t exited. They never entered.
Most of those cord-nevers are now 32 years old or older, while 7% range from 18 to 31-- the next generation, it would seem. Forrester, in fact, says the average cord-never is just under 51 years old. Amazing, if true.
All this leads Forrester to conclude that by 2025, half of the adults 32 and over won’t be getting a cable-like pay service as we know it. Forrester suggests, “CMOs must experiment on cord-nevers and cord-cutters now to learn how to serve them later.”
I’d say that if a viewer is 32 and older and not subscribing to a pay service like DirecTV or Comcast, they are no longer enticeable.
It means that viewer has no compulsion to see live sports or news, or be able to stay up to date with programs, or to pay much attention the local news, at least in the perverted way most American stations present it. And it means a whole lot of people have done just fine without seeing TV commercials in the same way typical viewers do.
The report says, those TV-averse digital viewers by 2025 "will not experience TV advertising messages in the same way as older viewers do either — not then, not ever. We recommend that CMOs rethink their approach to this entire future generation by using today’s digital cord-nevers and cord cutters as test subjects for reaching valuable audiences without the use of today’s TV ad tools."
The younger cable nevers don't seem to be missing a beat.
"Rather than inherit TV viewing expectations from a prior era and then consciously reject them, as cord cutters have done, these cord-never viewers have simply bypassed prior assumptions, exhibiting nearly the exact set of behaviors that cord cutters have pieced together for themselves over the past decade of viewing."
But I find these stats cord-never stats amazing. Until recently, the television viewing world was divided into people who subscribed and people who didn’t. That latter group was small enough that analysts and researchers never seemed to agree how big (or small) it was. There were cord-cutters or people too poor, or too high-brow, to buy in.
CBS Research guru David Poltrack long ago defined non-TV watchers “over-educated and under-employed.” A good example: A librarian.
Perhaps stagnant income growth and recession created a brand new batch in the last decade of economic funk.
Now, we’re being told that a lot of people were just never subscribing, and they’re being followed by a younger group who aren’t subscribing either. That cord-never info appears to be new information.
In February, a Moffett Nathanson research report, based on fresh census stats about occupied homes, estimated to be 3.8 million households that were cable-cutters or nevers. Last December, Nielsen said there 2.8 million broadband homes that didn’t have a pay service.
Comparing percentages with numbers of households is mixed up business, but it the Forrester numbers, based on a survey of 32,000 adults, indicates the pool of the TV-disaffected is far larger.