Half of Viewers Under 32 Won't Pay for TV In 10 Years

According to the Forrester Research report, Young TV Cord-Nevers Have Arrived And Are Here To Stay,  50% of all TV viewers under age 32 will not subscribe to a traditional pay TV service by 2025. Given that bleak-looking future, based on a survey of more than 55,000 U.S. adults, says the report, Forrester analyst James McQuivey suggests that providers must try new ways to connect with cord-cutter and cord-nevers and develop game plans on how to serve them.

McQuivey noted in the report that “… today’s 20-somethings are already hard to reach via TV, and the next generation will be tougher… “

Cable Subscription Status by Age (% of User Category)


User Category









   Age 32+




   Age 16-31








   Age 16-31




Source: Forrester, October 2015

Some MVPDs have been taking heed, says the report:

  • Comcast is beta-testing Stream, a $15/month IPTV service that features broadcast networks, HBO and a cloud DVR, and recently introduced Watchable, an ad-based OTT service
  • Cablevision Systems has developed packages tailored for cord-cutters  
  • Verizon recently went wide with go90, its free “mobile first” offering for millennials
  • Dish Network is targeting cord-cutters and cord-nevers with Sling TV
  • CBS, HBO and Showtime have also launched standalone OTT offerings

 Cord-cutters are “secondary” to the bigger problem of the rising Cord-Nevers, a group that, according to Forrester, now represents 18% of the population, says the report. Cord-cutters represent about 6%, but will stay below a 15% ceiling. 35% of younger viewers fall into the Cord-Nevers or Cord-Cutters bucket.

  Of particular concern are “digital Cord-Nevers,” says the report. A group of young consumers that gravitate to services like Netflix and YouTube that have “grown up believing that they can have all of the TV they want without paying a traditional TV distributor for it.” But the bulk of the population, 76%, still gets pay TV, suggesting that there’s still time for traditional players to solve the problem, notes the report.

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3 comments about "Half of Viewers Under 32 Won't Pay for TV In 10 Years".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, October 19, 2015 at 9:02 a.m.

    Nearly 20 percent of young men in their late 20s and early 30s still live with their cable-subscribing parents, thanks to the recession in 2009 that only ended because the media reported that it did.

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston replied, October 19, 2015 at 9:03 a.m.


  3. John Grono from GAP Research, October 20, 2015 at 1:29 p.m.

    Quite the coincidence that all the key findings are in increments of 5% with an n=55,000 sample, given that the margin of error on a simple random sample of n=50,000 should range from +/- 0.2% to +/- 0.4%.

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