[Survey] Only Two-Thirds of Netflix Users Still Have Pay TV; More Plan to Cancel


Survey also finds that 92% of subscribers are satisfied with Netflix.

More Netflix users are officially cutting the cord than ever before. In our recent survey of 829 current Netflix subscribers, we found that just 67% still have pay TV service (cable or satellite), and of those, 9% plan to cancel their pay TV service and another 16% are unsure if they will still have their pay TV within the next year.

For years, Netflix has claimed its service is complementary to cable and satellite and not a direct competitor, but new data from our survey shows things are rapidly changing. Netflix users are increasingly finding traditional pay TV less attractive, opting instead to rely on Netflix’s rapidly-expanding library of on-demand content and other similar streaming services to fulfill their entertainment needs.


The Survey

During the two-week period from June 1 to June 14, 2015, we conducted an online survey of 829 random current Netflix subscribers across the US (conducted independent from CutCableToday). Our goal was to get an accurate picture of the paid services they use to watch video, their satisfaction levels and opinions on these services, their most-desired video service features, and other related issues.

Here are the multiple-choice questions we asked:

  1. Which paid service(s) to watch TV shows, movies, and other content do you USE (or have you TRIED)?
  2. Please describe your OPINION of the following paid services to watch TV shows, movies, and other content.
  3. How likely are you to be using each paid service 12 MONTHS FROM NOW?
  4. For any paid service (for TV, movies, etc.) you are looking to PURCHASE, how important is each feature in your decision?
  5. In choosing your personal service package (cable, satellite, online), how important is each set of content to you?

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Key Findings

While most Netflix subscribers also have pay TV, the number is rapidly declining.

67% of Netflix users also have pay TV service, but of these, 9% are likely to cancel and another 16% are unsure if they will still have their pay TV service 12 months from now.

netflix users with pay tv

Netflix users to cancel pay tv

Netflix may have started out as a complementary service to cable and satellite TV, but make no mistake, the streaming service is now luring subscribers from pay TV in droves. Our research shows that just two-thirds of Netflix subscribers still have pay TV. This is a huge decline from the 80% of Netflix users that still paid for TV in 2014 and 88% that had cable along with their Netflix back in 2010. and we expect that number to steadily decline moving forward.

“I have cancelled all of my pay services except internet and Netflix. I use Netflix and online sites to watch TV and movies. The availability of programming for free online makes the high cost of cable and satellite not worth it.” (Female, 25-34)


Netflix subscribers with pay TV are usually locked into a bundle with their service provider.

77% of Netflix subscribers with cable or satellite have their pay TV bundled with their internet and/or phone service.

bundle types

Perhaps the most effective weapon pay TV providers have against cord cutting is the service bundle. Three out of four Netflix subscribers who also have pay TV service are locked into a bundle deal, relying on their provider for pay TV plus internet and/or phone service. Bundled service plans are notoriously difficult to break, penalizing cord cutters with higher internet prices when they cancel their pay TV.

“A lot of people only retain cable or satellite because of the internet bundle.” (Male, 45-54)


Netflix users are very satisfied with the streaming service and plan to keep it.

92% of subscribers said they are satisfied with Netflix, and 93% said they are likely to still have it 12 months from now.

how netflix users feel

Consumers love Netflix, and subscribers are incredibly loyal to the service. Even in the midst of a controversy for testing advertisements (or “trailers” as the company likes to call them) before and after its shows, Netflix still satisfies nine out of 10 subscribers.

“I cut the cord. I have an indoor antenna and Netflix. I don’t need anything else.” (Male, 35-44)

“Over the past few months, we watch less ‘television’ and more Netflix.” (Female, 25-34)


Netflix users are often subscribed to other streaming services.

Amazon Prime Instant Video is the most popular streaming service among Netflix users, with 47% subscribing to the service.

Other Services

As Netflix users cut the cord of pay TV, they are using other streaming services to complement their Netflix subscription. Streaming video apps like Amazon Prime Instant Video, HBO Now, and Hulu give subscribers access to other TV shows, movies, and content they are interested in watching that may not be on Netflix.

We pay for Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime and pay for Comcast Internet. Our bill went from $220 per month to $60 per month.” (Male, 35-44)


Netflix subscribers rank “Quality Content” and “Price” as two most important features when choosing a paid video service.

95% rate “Quality Content” and 90% rate “Price” as “Important” for any paid video service they are looking to purchase.

Important features

Good content at a fair price — that’s what most Netflix subscribers really want. And that’s likely why a growing number of Netflix users are ditching pay TV in favor of streaming video services. Other important features for Netflix subscribers include on-demand content, a user-friendly system, and the ability to stream content to multiple devices.

“Right now, my TV priority is finding good, reasonably priced children’s TV, and Netflix and Amazon scratch that itch.” (Female, 35-44)


The Significance of These Findings

As Netflix continues to offer its wide selection of TV shows and movies that people love (including its own growing series of Netflix Originals) at a low price, an increasing number of subscribers will see less of a need for expensive pay TV service, especially when they can add on other streaming services at a fraction of the cost. Cable and satellite TV companies might still dominate the video landscape, but they’re fighting a battle that’s getting more difficult by the day.

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Andrew Dodson

Andrew Dodson is a journalist from Michigan who writes for MLive.com, the state's top online news source. He previously worked as the technology editor for TVNewsCheck.com, a trade publication that covers the broadcasting industry, where he frequently wrote about cord cutting and taking advantage of over-the-air television. Email him at andrew@cutcabletoday.com or follow him on Twitter at @AndrewDodson.
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7 Comments on "[Survey] Only Two-Thirds of Netflix Users Still Have Pay TV; More Plan to Cancel"

  1. This is what happens (COMCAST/XFINITY) when you screw your customers, then outsource customer service to third world countries where English is not spoken or understood.

  2. Randy Kimball | June 29, 2015 at 2:36 pm |

    I’m just not sure that I could live without 9 channels of “Hot Tub Fun” available 24/7. Even if Netflix did carry “Hot Tub Fun” I could only watch it on one channel at a time, so there’s that!

  3. Only 2/3rds is still 67% of users have Pay TV. That is not an insignificant number.

    • Hi Leela,

      The reason I say “only two-thirds” is because this number has been reported in the last year or two as around 80%. Thus the decline has been more rapid than expected.

  4. Travis Burke | June 30, 2015 at 12:56 pm |

    I can remember when Netflix first showed up on the PS3 OS. A lot of naysayers saying “this will never go anywhere”, “there’s not enough content”. I said this is going to be the death of cable, and now here we are 5 years later………

  5. I think Comcast Internet, and Apple TV is all u need. I’m thinking strongly about canceling Comcast cable TV. Apple TV has Netflix, iTunes, HBO, Showtime, Hulu Plus, and many other apps. Also, you can stream – rent or buy movies from ITunes Store. This is an exceptional unit/service.

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