Age is less a determining factor for those who may be cord-cutters or “cord-nevers” than income, according to new research from Mintel.
According to the consultancy, about the same percentage of millennials, Generation Xers and baby boomers say they do not have a pay-TV subscription. (It’s about 10%.) A better determinant, according to the research, is household income. Among those with a household income of $50,000 or more a year, only 6% say they do not subscribe to a pay TV service. Among those with household incomes less than $50,000, the percentage increases to 18%. (Indeed, more than half of those lower-income consumers — 55% — said they can’t afford a subscription.)
“We’ve seen it before in our data,” Billy Hulkower, senior technology analyst at Mintel, tells Marketing Daily. “It’s pretty straightforward: Most people who can afford [pay TV] get it.”
Those who can’t afford it aren’t likely to get it anytime soon. More than half of those lower-income consumers — 55% — said they can’t afford a subscription. Among those who don’t have subscriptions, only 4% intend to add one in the next year. More than half (56%) of those who don’t subscribe are happy with the programming they get via a free antenna.
Pay TV is under little threat from video-streaming services. Among consumers who use six or more sources of online video content, 98% also have a pay TV subscription. At the same time, 76% of TV Everywhere consumers are more likely to use six or more sources of online video content.
“The people who are more likely to want those services, the more likely they are to have pay TV,” Hulkower says. “People who are into video content want access to all the services out there.”
And they will continue to want that access. Among those who subscribe to pay TV services, 55% said they are happy with the programming available to them, while only 23% are bored with regular television.
Among those who subscribe to pay TV services, more than half (55%) agree that they are happy with the programming available to them. Meanwhile, one quarter (23%) say they are bored with regular television.
“On a long-term basis, the industry is going to change,” Hulkower says. “But the idea that the industry is collapsing because of young people opting for [streaming] services is faulty reporting at best, and baloney at worst.”