US cord-cutters begin to grow
Joseph O'Halloran | 23-04-2014
Their affect on the business of pay-TV may have been overstated to date, but an Experian survey is suggesting that the number of cord-cutters is beginning to grow.

In its latest cross-device video analysis examining how consumers are increasingly viewing online video, Experian Marketing Services found that as many as nearly half (48%) of all US adults and two-thirds of young adults watch streaming or downloaded video during a typical week. The analyst adds that with what it describes as an 'explosion' of smartphones and digital tablets and the steady rise of Internet-connected home devices, consumers are watching more video when and where they want than ever before. Mobile, it suggests, is the first screen for watching, streaming or downloading video, with almost a quarter (24%) of all US adults and 42% of smartphone owners watching this type of video each week.

Experian claculates that up to 7.6 million US homes can be considered cord-cutters, up from 5.1 million homes in 2010, a relative increase of 44%. Users of the Netflix and Hulu over-the-top (OTT) were, not surprisingly, the most likely to be cord-cutters. Overall, the top three video properties across desktops and smartphones were YouTube, Netflix and CNN.

The survey also found that online video viewers were generally are more receptive to advertising, though only 27% of adults who watch video on a smartphone and 31% of those who view video on a tablet say that they find video ads on these devices useful.

"While we are seeing the way we view video drastically changing, television is likely to remain the primary device for consumer video; we just are witnessing the transition of the definition of television," said John Fetto, senior analyst, marketing and research, Experian Marketing Services. "A third of Americans live in households with Internet-connected TVs, giving them the option to stream or download video to the television either directly or with devices such as Kindle Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and Google Chromecast. While the growing trend in cord-cutting is understandably disturbing to cable and satellite companies and disruptive to the television advertising revenue model overall, the growth in online viewing creates opportunities for marketers."