A LOT of People Want to Cut Down Their Cable Bundles (Study)

As more people in the US start unbundling their cable packages, video research company Digitalsmiths decided to take a look at whether people are adopting smaller pay TV packages.

Digitalsmiths’ survey, carried out in Q1 of 2015, found that 81.6% of respondents are interested in getting smaller, choosier cable bundles. When asked to choose which channels they’d like in that bundle, respondents on average picked out just 17 of 75 on the list they were provided with.

The most popular cable channels include ABC, Discovery Channel, CBS, NBC, the History Channel, and National Geographic (in that order), with Fox, HBO, Comedy Central, AMC, and the Food Network falling just behind. The Weather Channel, TLC, and ESPN also made it into the mix, all of which now also boast digital offerings (as do CBS, Discovery, HBO…).

top 20 cable tv channels in a world of unbundling

How much would respondents pay for their choice selection of 17 cable channels? The average fell at $38 a month.

The study also came up with a new term to refer to cordless viewers — “cord-cheaters” (at least, it’s new to us). “Cord-cheaters” refers to the souls who subscribe to cable/satellite services but get on-demand and even linear TV content from third-party and OTT services. So, it’s like cheating on your cable provider with streaming services.

Digitalsmiths didn’t exactly provide a number for how many of the OTT users they surveyed were also cheating on cable, but they did note that in the first quarter of this year, 54.4% of respondents said they subscribed to monthly subscription streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.

Netflix, unsurprisingly, was the most popular subscription streaming service among survey respondents. While 46.4% used Netflix, 18.9% used Amazon Prime and 11.4% used Hulu. Those who use one service may very well also use another, as 45.6% of those surveyed said they used no subscription streaming service at all.

When asked why they used anything other than cable for watching video, respondents mostly noted that these methods are more convenient and cheaper than cable TV bundles.

Digitalsmisths surveyed 3,144 US-based adults on the first quarter of 2015 in this study. You can download the full report here.