Yes, 70 million is a lot. And that stat doesn’t mean 70 million consumers are ditching or adding cable tomorrow. But given the fast-moving nature of consumer viewing habits, these broad findings can be useful as directional guidance into where consumers might be headed.
Within that overall group, about 50 million are considering cutting back or canceling pay TV, representing 20% of the U.S. population. This segment is also twice as large as consumers who say they want more TV service, the study found.
Those in the “cord-defector category” are less likely to have children at home and are slightly more likely to be male, GfK says. Those who might add service have some traits in common -- including higher propensity for binge-viewing TV, as well as more active engagement with TV content and ads.
These findings dovetail with those from PricewaterhouseCooper, which reports that 16% of U.S. consumers trimmed services in 2015. PWC said consumers are frustrated over pay-TV bundles and the difficulty in discovering TV shows to watch. Many say it’s more convenient and easier to find TV shows using over-the-top services.
PWC said that 78% of the US population subscribes to at least one streaming video service, with nearly 2/3 of U.S. TV viewers also subscribing to Netflix, 34% to Amazon Prime, and nearly 15% to HBO Now.