Believe it or not, services like Netflix and Hulu are affecting the number of cable subscribers out there. Surprising? Nah – of course it isn’t, and I’m not going to hide the fact that I’m a wee bit pleased at the fact. It’s not so much that I adore Netflix and Hulu; it’s more the fact that cable companies have charged ridiculous prices for their services for far too long.
In the latest reports from Experian Marketing Services, it was found that 6.5% of all US households are cord-cutters – that is, they don’t subscribe to a cable or satellite service. When the household is occupied by those aged 18 – 34, there’s a 12.4% chance that there’s no cable subscription. And finally, 18.1% of homes that have either Netflix or Hulu do not have a cable subscription. That’s an increase of 5.4% over 2010.
It’s clear that the cable-cutting trend is continuing an acceleration that started about five-years-ago, and the way things are going, it wouldn’t be surprising to see these numbers increase in acceleration even further from this point on. By 2019, I picture the number of cable-free homes nearing 40%, unless the cable companies wise-up. If Netflix and Hulu cost $8 per month a piece, and offer a ton of on-demand content, it gets pretty hard to justify shelling out $80 each month for content that’s not on demand, has more commercials than online services, and give you a ton of stuff you don’t want.
What will help seal the deal is if sporting channels begin going online. I don’t currently have cable, but if I did, sports would be the only reason. There’s a severe lack of online streaming for that at the moment, and the stuff that is there, ironically enough, requires a cable subscription to access.
I admit I’m being very opinionated here, but I personally can’t wait for the death of cable to get here. The faster it happens, the sooner we all get faster Internet with fewer restrictions. When everyone will rely on Internet for such content exclusively, ISPs will have to act, else those small guys that offer better deals and fewer restrictions will reign supreme.
The next ten years are going to be very interesting.