We’ve all heard the term “cord cutting” more times than we can stand, but it often seems like, despite the fact that many cable and satellite customers talk about it, very few people are actually axing their pay-TV services in favor of something else. A new study suggests that while it might not seem like many people are actually going back to over-the-air TV, the movement is actually gaining some serious traction. According to the report, a full 15% of households with broadband connections have gone back to TV via antenna exclusively.
“Pay-TV subscriptions have dropped each year since 2014, falling to 81% of U.S. broadband households in Q3 2016,” Brett Sappington, Senior Director of Research with Parks Associates, said of the data. “Several factors have played a part in this decline, including growth in the OTT video market, increasing costs for pay-TV services, and consumer awareness of available online alternatives.”
It’s important to note that many of the cord cutters are likely not relying solely on their local broadcasters for content, but are instead embracing streaming services in place of their traditional cable or satellite options. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and even Twitch are starting to seriously make a case for themselves as primary video services, rather than supplementary add-ons alongside a monthly cable bill.
Still, it’s an impressive figure that seems to be growing rather steadily, and with dissatisfaction in many cable providers at an all-time high, it’s hard to imagine this trend doing anything but growing for the foreseeable future.