Despite its threat being regarded as overstated, cord-cutting does seem to be gaining traction among fabled “Generation Y” subscribers at least.

New research by marketing consultancy Ideas & Solutions!,has revealed that such an audience are noticeably less attached to traditional offerings and more prone to finding a greater cost-benefit equation with alternative platforms.

In an integrated qualitative and quantitative study of 500 people aged 18-29, “Must Choose TV: What Gen Y Thinks About Pay-TV and Cord-Cutting”, Gen Y pay-TV subscribers were segmented into three groups—loyalists, learners, and at-risk— each of whom is characterized by distinct demographics, media behaviours, and attitudes.

Overall the survey found that 60% of respondents were either leaning toward or seriously considering “cutting the cord” to their pay-TV subscriptions.

Such people are likely to be early adopters of new technology, and band central in the sights of OTT providers such as Hulu and Netflix. They also displayed a strong desire to control their TV viewing by using a DVR as well as on-demand services.

Yet the survey also revealed some positive findings for pay-TV providers. As indicated by other surveys, fans of sports programming were more likely to remain loyal to existing traditional providers and convenience also ranked as a major reason for many subscribers to keep their service.

Also there was a noticeable lack of loyalty to cord-cutting from those who were most likely to adopt it. The survey found that many of those who had already moved away from pay-TV said they may, in fact, return if their lifestyle situations changed and providers were more attuned to their preferences.

The analyst advised pay-TV operators to respond actively to the needs and habits of those most likely to cut the cord, emphasising the services and features that this group embraces.

“You have to examine the right audience. If you look at the overall numbers people might say there’s a small number of cord-cutters. But if you look inside certain segments, it’s much larger,” said Glen L. Friedman, president and founder of Ideas & Solutions!."While the media has focused much of its reporting on the extent of cord-cutting overall, there is little mention of the behaviours and attitudes of vulnerable groups within this key constituency. This is the demographic that completely transformed the music and the phone business and has already started to dramatically reshape the pay-TV ecosystem.”