Cord Cutting Continues to Grow — NAB Follow-up

My previous post was more of an introduction to cord cutting. It was an overview of what is out there for people who are fed up with paying their cable and are looking for something that is not only less expensive, but also quite simple. Much of what I talked about was online subscription services that are available to consumers for a relatively small subscription fee.

Since that post Netflix has announced a price increase of an unknown amount and Amazon Prime has raised their one-year membership fee from $79 to $99. Although Amazon struck an exclusive deal with HBO to host many of their older shows that have already been completed like The Sopranos, The Wire, and Six Feet Under. This is quite surprising news, as HBO has in the past been very vocal about not allowing their programming on other streaming services.

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Even with these increases in price, I believe these options are still of better value than any cable subscription. Netflix is the industry leader in original content for a streaming service and Amazon has invested into that realm as well in the recent months. This medium is growing larger and larger at quicker rates than anticipated.

After my last post I jetted off to the NAB Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, seeking to answer the three questions below:

1. Have cable providers seen a noticeable impact on revenue due to “cord cutting”?

2. Is the Comcast and Time Warner merger likely to go through? If so what does that mean for consumers?

3. Is measuring cord cutters useful to professionals in the audience measurement industry? Why?

I will start with the first one by answering YES. There is a reason I capitalized every letter in that answer. Because I am shouting it. A recent study claims 1 in 10 cable subscribers will cut the cord this year. That means 10 percent of cable’s customers will not be customers! That is a huge decrease. Just imagine the outlook over the next five years once people understand the financial benefits of cord cutting. This industry is preparing for a significant financial shift.

Second, the Comcast and Time Warner cable merger was not talked about much at the NAB Show as it is very much a broadcasting conference. But since my post, Netflix has come out with a statement opposing the merger. Personally, I still believe it’s a terrible thing for American consumers and am astounded at how far the U.S. Government has let it move forward.

measureLastly, measuring cord cutters has proven to be a bit of a hassle. This is because there is no entity that needs to measure cord cutters for any specific purpose. There are only subscription services that measure the amount of subscribers they have and what exactly their subscribers are watching.

In n NAB I attended on online programming, they mentioned some vital metrics they pay attention to when determining what programming is successful or unsuccessful. These metrics consist of unique views, engagement, repeated viewing, and shares through social media. These are what determine successful online content and encourage content creators to produce more.

I anticipate the future to be cordless place, figuratively speaking. I believe cable will be around for a while longer but cord cutting will eventually take over. It’s very exciting as someone who values quality content on such a personal level, I can’t wait to see the changes it makes to what type of media is produced. The sooner you cut the cord, the sooner you can enjoy watching exactly what you want to watch.

Mitch Ingstad

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