US Cord Cutting Full Year 2018 Streaming Transition Picks Up Pace
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The 20,000 Foot View: Cord cutting is now an established component of the US pay-TV landscape, reinforcing the role of the US as the canary in the mine for the global pay-TV business. Cord cutting accelerated in 2018, highlighting the secular nature of the phenomenon. However, this is not simply a story of decline but instead one of transition, with streaming growing — in a wider sense — the total base of pay-TV subscribers. With ever more overlaps in consumer behaviour and segments across traditional pay-TV and streaming, all signs point to more of the same in 2019.
- US cord cutting totalled million in 2018, up from million in 2017, representing a increase
- Satellite pay-TV providers lost million subscribers in 2018, the largest loss of subscribers and also the largest percentage change
- AT&T shed the most subscribers of any US pay-TV provider in 2018 million) of US cord cutters in 2018 were streaming video on demand (SVOD) users, illustrating that cord cutting is part of a technology transition
- SVOD services added million subscribers in 2018, pushing the combined pay-TV subscriber base to million
- Half of US pay-TV subscribers in 2018 were also SVOD users
- Cord cutters are around eight times more likely to use HBO Now and CBS All Access than overall consumers
- Hulu has the highest rate of cord cutting followed by Amazon and then Netflix
- Binge-watching consumers are more likely to become cord cutters, making up of cord cutters in 2018 of cord shavers regularly watch sports on TV, illustrating that streaming-savvy sports fans are cutting back their pay-TV subscriptions to retain sports coverage
Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Altice, Amazon Prime Video, AT&T, Atlantic Broadband, Cable ONE, Cablevision, CBS All Access, Charter Communications, Comcast, DirecTV, DISH Network, Frontier, HBO Now, Hulu, Mediacom, Netflix, Sling, Suddenlink, U-verse, Verizon Fios, YouTube