Study: More Families Subscribe to Streaming Services Than Pay For Cable

TV has been a longstanding friend to families for decades. Since its invention, viewers young and old have hovered around the glowing rectangle and gazed into the most entertaining piece of technology since the radio. In 2017, kids spend nearly an hour in front of the television everyday, even with smartphones clawing for their attention. So what are they watching? Well, for the first time ever, it’s likely a streaming service.

That’s right, according to The Common Sense Census from Common Sense Media, more families subscribe to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu (72 percent) than actually pay for cable (65 percent), which is definitely a first.

“Children spend an average of 17 minutes a day watching online videos from a source such as YouTube, 17 percent of all TV/video viewing time, and families with young children are now more likely to have a subscription video service such as Netflix or Hulu (72 percent) than they are to have cable TV (65 percent).”

While Netflix has undeniably been the success story of the 21st century, this should still comes as a bit of a surprise. Cable TV has been a staple of the medium since it’s inception, and with rural internet connections still struggling to keep up, streaming services seem like they’d be a bit more unpredictable across the entire country.

However, that is not the case, as the numbers clearly show. With high prices and infuriating customer service experiences likely to blame, the cable TV industry has fallen on hard times. Even efforts to combine the two, like Comcast is dong with their X1 platform, haven’t been able to keep the giants on top.

Is it an inability to adapt or was cable doomed since Netflix decided that mailing DVDs wasn’t there best move? Perhaps of cross-platform integration came a little sooner, Comcast could have set the tone for a different fight between streaming services and cable. Unfortunately, the changing of the guard is in full effect, now it’s time to sit back and watch Rome burn.

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Conor is the Lead Writer for For the last six years, he’s covered everything from tech news and product reviews to digital marketing trends and business tech innovations. He's written guest posts for the likes of Forbes, Chase, WeWork, and many others, covering tech trends, business resources, and everything in between. He's also participated in events for SXSW, Tech in Motion, and General Assembly, to name a few. He also cannot pronounce the word "colloquially" correctly. You can email Conor at
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