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Study: US cord cutting nears ⅓

July 23, 2020

Findings from connected TV platform and device specialist Roku’s annual Cord Cutting study, including new insights shared by US consumers about how the Covid-19 pandemic is influencing the shift to streaming, indicate that approximately 32 per cent of US TV households do not have a traditional pay-TV subscription (cable, satellite, telco), while another 25 per cent of households identified as Cord Shavers cut back their service. When asked about intent to cut the cord fully in the next six months, 45 per cent of Cord Shaver households said they were likely to do so.

“While we entered 2020 with significant momentum around cord cutting, we’re now seeing that the Covid-19 pandemic and the pause of live sports has caused consumers to rethink how they access home entertainment and what they are willing to pay,” said Roku Chief Marketing Officer Matthew Anderson. “It’s clear that value matters more than ever and the abundance of free content, free trials to premium streaming services and the savings that consumers achieve are fuelling the shift to streaming.”

The vast majority of Cord Cutter households agree that they are satisfied with their decision and wish they had cut their traditional pay-TV service earlier. When asked about factors driving the shift to full-time streaming, cutting home entertainment expenses was cited as the No. 1 reason. Roku users who cut the cord said they saved approximately $75 (€84) per month, a higher average savings than cord cutters who said they use other streaming devices.

Value is an important factor in driving cord cutting. Nearly half of all US TV households said they have been watching more, free ad-supported TV during the Covid-19 pandemic than they did before. In addition, 40 per cent of recent Cord Cutter households say that access to free trials and extended free trials to premium subscription services helped convince them to cut traditional pay-TV service.

Only 17 per cent of recent Cord Cutter households said they would re-subscribe to traditional pay-TV when live sports returns this year. Thirty-one per cent said they are likely to subscribe to a live sports streaming service. Over half (52 per cent) of Traditional and Cord Shaver households say they are likely to reduce their package if televised live sports on traditional pay-TV does not return.


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