2017 Looks Like the Biggest Year for Cord-Cutters Yet

October 17, 2017

9:20 am

Looks like the revolution won’t be televised. Because after the streaming revolution is over, nothing’s going to be televised.

After combing the public filings for major pay TV companies including AT&T, Comcast, Dish, Charter and Verizon, streaming watchdog site Exstreamist has officially predicted that 2017 will be the biggest year ever for cord-cutters, and, by extension, the worst year for pay TV.

Nearly 2 Million Cord-Cutters This Year

While the year isn’t quite out, Exstreamist is calling it now. Here’s what they had to say.

“Based on our estimates, along with data showing that in the third quarter alone there have been close to 470,000 cancellations, we predict the 2017 cable TV cancellations will surpass somewhere between 1.8 and 1.9 million people. Barring any major fourth quarter turnaround (a traditionally slower time for new TV subscription signups), there is nothing to suggest this trend slowing, either,” they wrote in a recent post.

It’s a step up from 2016, which saw 1.7 million cord-cutters. Yet this number doesn’t even take into account one major threat to pay TV: The younger “cord nevers” who are graduating college and getting their own places without bothering to look up the nearest cable guy. Speaking as a 20-something myself, I haven’t heard any of my friends getting excited about their first cable TV subscription.

Netflix, meanwhile, isn’t taking any chances for next year: It’s planning on a $7 million content budget for 2018, and is powering its growth through international subscribers, having boosted it’s international share of streaming revenue from 10 percent just five years ago to 41 percent in 2016.

While the cutting of cords increasingly proves that tech is moving past pay TV to streaming video, it also hints that the long-hated cable bundle might just reform into the brand-new but equally expensive streaming bundle. After all, streaming services need to earn back those massive content budgets somehow.

Read more about the future of video here at TechCo

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Adam is a writer with an interest in a variety of mediums, from podcasts to comic books to video essays to novels to blogging — too many, basically. He's based out of Seattle, and remains a staunch defender of his state's slogan: "sayWA." In his spare time, he recommends articles about science fiction on Twitter, @AdamRRowe

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