Viewing Preferences Vary Between Cord-Cutters, Cord-Nevers

Newsflash: “Cord-cutters” and “cord-nevers” have different tastes.

A study from GfK MRI indicates key differences in viewing habits of those who have ditched their pay-TV service, and those who have never subscribed to one.

The new research showed that four of the top 10 streaming shows among TV viewers who have never had pay TV do not appear among the top shows among consumers who cut their pay TV service. In addition, the research revealed that three of the 10 favorite programs among cord-nevers run on Amazon or Hulu, while all ten of the cord-cutters’ favorites air on Netflix.

These differences are likely due to demographics. Cord-nevers are usually younger and millennials, and they have grown accustomed to watching video from a wider array of sources. On the flip side, the cord-cutting group has its own distinct preferences that likely stem from how those consumers experienced TV before they cut the apron strings to their cable or satellite company.



Cord-cutters comprise 8% of the U.S. population and have an average age of 43, while cord-nevers are 34 on average and account for 9% of all consumers. More than half of cord-nevers are millennials, compared to 35% of cord-cutters.

The researchers studied streaming attitudes and behaviors from 10,000 respondents across the country.

Among the group of cord-cutters, about 57% said they had used Netflix in the past year. Among cord-nevers, YouTube is more popular, with 46% using it, compared to 39% using Netflix. As millennials age, their tastes might become more similar to the taste of cord-cutters, the researchers said.

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