One recent bit of research from Waterstone Management Group, which surveyed some 5,000 respondents: a whopping 59% have cut the cable cord (really!) and another 29% are thinking about it (whoa!).
Waterstone said its data comes from 5,000 respondents in a December 2018 survey who were 18 to 69 years of age, including current cable subscribers as well as former cable subscribers.
The research did not say, from its website, whether the data was modeled to project an estimate for all U.S. pay TV subscribers. We guess it isn’t. Thankfully.
Then there is this: A recent survey from TiVo says 81.2% of TV watchers plan to stay with their current pay TV provider — with 18.8% planning to cut the cord — we suspect they prefer an alternative, digital pay TV live, linear service. Other research from Kagan says cord-cutting is growing at a 12% annual compounded rate, totaling 40 million by 2023.
So there are lots of numbers — and big differences — to consider. Including this: Waterstone says 70% of respondents interviewed from states such as Idaho, Kentucky, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona and South Dakota, have “cut the cord.” (Not revealed here: What happened to cable service repair technicians in those states after losing customers?)
Yes, there is some cord-cutting going on. But we need more — granular information from these disgruntled and disrupted media consumers.
From the Waterstone data, Broadcasting & Cable says only 12% of cable subscribers are “committed” to continuing with their traditional pay TV service. It says this number was derived by adding 59% — those who cut the cord — to 29% — those planning to leave. This means only 12% want to remain with cable.
B&C says Waterstone used Amazon Mechanical Turk for its research efforts.
Maybe this is the key. MTurk is a “crowdsourcing marketplace,” according to Amazon, which outsources “processes and jobs” -- some of which can include conducting simple data validation, data collection and analysis, as well as more subjective tasks, like survey participation. Ah. Hah.
Still scratching your head?
The bottom line is that any seemingly out-of-nowhere rapid changes in TV disruption come at a price. And action.
Are many pay TV companies now filing for bankruptcy? Going out of business? Firing cable pay TV technicians? If not, I leave you to read the media tea leaves.