Smart TV Viewers Are Increasingly Going Streaming Only as Cable TV ‘Quiet Quitters’ Grow





remote pointing at tv

A larger number of viewers on smart televisions are moving to streaming only, while a decent percentage of customers are clinging on to cable even if they aren’t using the service, according to a study conducted by Inscape, the research arm of TV maker Vizio.

Of the 22 million Vizio TV viewers tallied in Inscape’s third-quarter study, 54% opted to only stream video, while 41% had a mix of streaming with cable, satellite and/or over-the-air television. Only 5% opted for just cable, satellite and/or OTA. And while cord cutters fled cable at a higher rate in the third quarter, the more interesting stat is in the rise of “quiet quitters,” or customers who stopped using cable, but continue to pay.

The study found that 11.9% of viewers reported a 75% or more decrease in cable or satellite viewership time yet didn’t cut the cord. Another 11.1% saw a decrease of 50% to 75% in viewership time but stuck around anyway.

The results underscore the continuing trend of cord cutting accelerating as the proliferation of options, with subscription on demand, free ad-supported platform or a live streaming service making it easy to switch. The study saw 5.7% of U.S. households quitting cable or satellite in the third quarter, up from 4.4% from in the fourth quarter of last year.

Because this is a study that only looks at smart TV viewing patterns, it doesn’t account for mobile viewing, which is an increasing share of total time, especially with apps like TikTok and YouTube.

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