Profiling The 1 in 4 TV Households Without Pay-TV

July 18, 2016

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Household Income | Non-mobile Connected Devices | Pay-TV & Cord-Cutting | Video | Youth & Gen X

GfK-Pay-TV-Cord-Cutters-Cord-Nevers-Jul20161 in 4 US TV households now lack cable and satellite reception, reports GfK in newly-released data from a survey of 3,009 US households. While these households are fairly evenly split between cord-cutters (stopped paying for pay-TV) and cord-nevers (never paid), these two groups differ in some basic socioeconomic and TV viewing characteristics.

Interestingly, both cord-cutters ($59k) and cord-nevers ($47k) have lower average incomes than the total population ($65k). Beyond that income discrepancy (which favors cord-cutters), the data shows that cord-cutters over-index the total population in subscribership to subscription video-on-demand services, active viewership of OTT on a TV set, and having kids in the household. By contrast, cord-nevers under-index the general population in each of those cases.

TV reception preferences differ across various demographics. While the study found that 17% of households are broadcast-only (OTA reception), that figure rises to 22% among households with a resident in the 18-34 age range, and is also higher among homes with Hispanic residents (24%) and households with income under $30k (26%).

Other results from the survey indicate that:

  • The most common reason for cutting the cord is cutting costs (72%), but the ability to watch online has grown as a reason from 16% of respondents in 2014 to 28% this year;
  • More than 4 in 10 TV homes (43%) have an internet-connected TV, with digital media players (23%) and smart TVs (19%) the most common forms of connected TVs; and
  • Households with at least one resident aged 18-34 are twice as likely as all TV homes to exclusively watch an internet service on their TV set (13% vs. 6%).

About the Data: GfK’s study was conducted in March and April 2016 among 3,009 US households, including representative levels of non-TV, non-internet, cell-phone-only, and Spanish dominant homes.


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