For a few years, cable companies saw cordcutting as another millenial fad that would go the way of the hoverboard. But Netflix’s dramatic growth was just the start. Changes in viewing habits are driving a seismic change in the attitude towards cable bundles, and more people than ever are ditching cable boxes altogether.
A new set of results from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) paints a bleak picture for pay TV providers. Consumer satisfaction with cable and satellite fell this year. It was the only niche in the telecoms industry to see its customers get less happy this year, and satisfaction with wireless providers actually improved.
Worse, a vastly increased number of survey respondents said that they’re thinking about switching to streaming services. 9% of people polled said they were highly likely to switch this year, versus just 1.9% answering the same question in 2011.
“Customer service remains abysmal, and viewers are continuing to switch over to streaming services with much higher customer satisfaction, ACSI chairman Claes Fornell said. “More than half a million subscribers defected from cable and satellite providers during the first quarter – the largest loss in history.”
What’s even more painful for pay TV providers is that customers aren’t watching less TV — they’re just watching less cable. A separate study from Nielsen came out today, showing that 90% of viewing time is still spent watching the big screen. In this particular breakup, it’s definitely you, not me.