Cord cutting is reaching an all-time high. A recent report by Ampere Analysis took a look at the viewing habits of 54,000 adults ranging from ages 18 to 64. The report shows the number of audiences watching significantly less linear television (traditional cable TV-style programming) or none at all has grown from 22% to 45% over the last two years.
Over the 28 global markets, Ampere Analysis took a gander at, the cord cutting trend is mostly driven by younger audiences, however, people over 45 years old are also abandoning linear television in lieu of streaming. In the first quarter of 2017, 28% of people over 45 said they watched no linear television. Now, that number has grown to 35%.
For those who still watch linear television, people who said they watch at least four hours of television daily dropped 4% since the first quarter of 2021, now tallying 15% by the end of 2023’s first quarter. This is another area where streaming is taking over. The report shows 62% of internet users watch four or more hours of video on demand content daily, up from 58% in the first quarter of 2021.
“At first glance, the decline in linear TV viewing looks to be a worrying trend for broadcasters as their traditional audience begins to drift away, said Minal Modha, Research Director at Ampere Analysis as reported by TV Technology. “However, as the increased engagement with broadcast-led video services shows, if the linear channels can continue to adapt and provide a strong OTT offering for audiences switching from scheduled TV channels, they have an opportunity to retain them, albeit on a different medium.”
Some content that keeps people tuning in to linear television over streaming services is live sports coverage and special live events, all of which are slowly looking into or cementing streaming deals. Cable television is also pairing up with streaming options in an attempt to keep their current customers from canceling cable altogether, increasing engagement by 26% in first quarter reports.
For a long time, cable executives had expected most cord cutters to get a live TV streaming service like Fubo or Sling TV, but that has not happened. As cord cutters increasingly move to on-demand-only options, cable executives are starting to worry.