As a haughty millennial, the fact that anybody still pays for traditional cable TV baffles me, but 85 percent of US households still do. That tide is slowly turning, however, and by 2030, as many as 40 percent of Americans will have cut the cord, according to predictions in a new report by market analyst TDG Research.
The writing has been on the wall for some time, TDG, a boutique consulting firm focused on the future of TV, wrote in the report. After the recession, many Americans were looking to cut unnecessary expenses, which kicked off a trend of cord cutting. Coupled with the rise of digital streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, these trends contributed to traditional pay TV’s decline, something TDG predicted back in 2010.
Those predictions proved true, with the percent of US households still shelling out for cable dropping every year since 2012. If the trend continues on the current path, TDG predicts the percent of US households subscribing to pay TV will drop to 60 percent in the next 13 years.
“TDG said early on that the future of TV was an app. Unfortunately, most incumbent multi-channel video providers weren’t taking notes,” Joel Espelien, TDG Senior Analyst, said in a press release. “The question is no longer if the future of TV is an app, but how quickly and economically incumbents can adapt to this truth and transition to an all-broadband app-based live multi-channel system.”
Back in the day, internet subscriptions were an upsell from cable or telephone providers. Now the opposite is true: internet is the must-have, while cable or home phone are often a luxury add-on for Americans. Last year, the number of broadband households surpassed the number of legacy pay-TV households, according to the report.