Cordcutters — those who drop their previous subscription to pay TV — are a good barometer of the general population's TV interests. Do they prefer cable or internet streaming? For years, the answer has been the latter, with a shift towards the former. That hasn't changed. But now the shift is getting even faster.
Research firm SNL Kagan has the numbers: 812,000 people cut their pay-TV accounts in the last three months. Over the last year, nearly 1.4 million people dropped their subscriptions.
“It is a bit of an acceleration and the biggest quarterly loss that we’ve seen. We are seeing a gradual increase in the decline rate,” said SNL Kagan analyst Ian Olgeirson of the number in an article from Fortune, which connects this data with that of another research firm, Nielson. Nielson's research shows that ESPN has lost over 11 million subscribers since 2011, a number more than 10 percent of its total customer base.
Complicating the matter, skinny bundles exist in the middle area: They offer a smaller number of cable channels, often avoiding the premium ones like ESPN, in order to tempt audiences with less to spend. The option might work, but might also just be a step on the way to a customer who decides to cut the cord entirely.
In 2016, the decision to cut the cord and rely on internet providers like Netflix and Amazon Prime is becoming increasingly easier. Cordcutters are just another way that 2017 is shaping up to be the year that innovative tech — from self-driving cars to commercial drones — leaps forward.