Analyst Predicts Another 31 Million Cord Cutters Over the Next Decade

July 26, 2017

2:30 pm

The trend towards cord cutting — the act getting rid of one’s expensive cable package in exchange for a couple streaming video subscriptions — has been growing over the past decade. Now, an analyst predicts that we haven’t seen anything yet, and that a massive increase in cord cutting will give us 31 million ex-cable subscribers by the time we’ve passed another decade.

The Numbers

Barclays analyst Kannan Venkateshwar made the prediction, as reported by TV watchdog Broadcasting & Cable.

“In a report,” B&C notes, “Venkateshwar estimates that 31 million homes could cut or shave the cord over the next decade, with some individual networks declining at an even faster pace.


Internet-delivered bundles—such as Dish’s Sling TV, DirecTV Now or YouTube TV—could gain 17 million subscribers over the next 10 years.”

The result of this massive downswing in cable subscriptions? A net decline of $13 billion spread across the next ten years.

Nearly 1.4 million people dropped their subscriptions in 2015, and well over half a million have cut cords in 2016 and 2017 quarters since: Pay TV’s 2017 Q1 loss of 762,000 customers was its worst Q1 ever. But if Venkateshwar’s estimates hold true, the phenomenon is just ramping up.

In other news, among all the kids who have only known Netflix their whole life, 82 percent don’t even know what commercials are.

Long Live TV

TV won’t go away: It will be remain successful in one form or another.

“Eventually, we believe some OTT models will become indistinguishable from legacy media while others will result in consumers watching TV without realizing that it is the activity that they are engaged in.

We believe media companies should adapt content to distribution instead of the other way around, use a ‘barbell strategy’ for distribution and tier services based on experience instead of content,” Venkateshwar has said of the future.

The direction we’re moving is clear now: TV is becoming a streaming game over the next decade.


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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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