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High prices continue to drive cord-cutting

Published Mar 16th, 2018 5:42PM EDT
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Cord-cutters ditching traditional pay TV for streaming cable alternatives are at an all-time high. Every quarter sees another record broken for people leaving cable, while streaming pay TV and Netflix continue to grow at astronomical rates.

It’s easy for cable execs to blame the problems on gosh-darn millenials who are glued to their phone and don’t want to watch the evening news. But the evidence shows that actually, it’s the increasingly high prices that cable companies charge that’s to blame.

Data from TiVo’s Q4 2017 video trends survey continues to back that up. Among pay TV users, high prices was the most common cause of dissatisfaction, with 83% of unhappy users saying that price was to blame. Among cord-cutters, the numbers were even worse:

Though previously mentioned, it’s worth noting again that of those respondents cutting pay-TV service, 86.7% do so because of price, and this category increased by 6.6 percentage points y/y. As price drives both dissatisfaction and cord-cutting, these two results support the view that some respondents can’t justify the high price of cable/satellite service, especially with the availability of lower-cost options like Netflix and Hulu. Now that these services also offer original content, streaming also cuts into the daily viewing time of pay-TV services, potentially leading to a deterioration of perceived value. Pay-TV providers must act before consumers reach their tipping point.

The study also found that customers, unsurprisingly, hate the channel bundles. According to the survey, 81.3% of consumers would like a la carte programming, up 4.7 percent from a year ago. Even the streaming options don’t allow a la carte programming — $35 or $40 gets you the standard bundle, with add-ons for things like HBO.

Chris Mills
Chris Mills News Editor

Chris Mills has been a news editor and writer for over 15 years, starting at Future Publishing, Gawker Media, and then BGR. He studied at McGill University in Quebec, Canada.

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