Cable cutting continues to rise, and one of the fastest growing segments should come as no surprise. In 2016, the pay TV industry lost 1.7 million customers, or about 1.7% of its total subscriber base (an increase from 1.1 million in 2015). But one of the biggest areas of decline was millennials.
Recent number from Videology revealed that only 33% of male millennials will pay for standard television in 2017. And that number is going down, as just under 10% of millennials plan to cancel their cable TV subscriptions this year.
Maybe the most interesting part though, is the reasoning behind the millennials departure from cable. It’s not because of price, as fewer than one in three millennials said cost was a reason for canceling cable. The real reason is that they’re comfortable with the TV options they have in streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. In fact, more than 50% of survey respondents said they were completely satisfied with a la carte options.
As the decline continues, there’s not much cable can do to fight back. Just about every major cable company has started introducing “skinny bundles” that are fairly similar to streaming offerings, but there are a few major problems. Since a small handful of media companies control cable networks, that still means taking on channels in a group and paying for channels they don’t watch.
And skinny bundles are still somewhat limited for “on the go” viewing, with subscribers having to jump through hoops just to watch content on a mobile device. In fact, some streaming TV services aren’t even available away from the user’s home network.
It’s clear that cable has some innovating to do if they want to retain their customers. As subscribers are finding cheaper and easier alternatives for their television, there’s just not much of an incentive for cable any more.