Some 64% of American prime-time TV viewers aged 18-49 claim to be “cord-lovers,” having maintained or added to their current level of cable/satellite subscription during the past 6 months, details Ipsos in newly-released survey results. Interestingly, that figure remains constant or even higher among viewers of that age who subscribe to streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
The survey results indicate that while streaming services have been blamed for an erosion in premium channel subscriptions, they don’t seem to be contributing to cord-shaving or cord-cutting behavior. It’s important to remember that the survey is limited to primetime viewers, who may have more affinity for TV in general and thus be more likely to pay for a subscription. Also – as always – it’s worth noting that correlation is not causation.
Nevertheless, there doesn’t seem to be any difference in pay-TV subscription behavior between streaming service subscribers and the average primetime viewer. For example, while 27% of survey respondents aged 18-49 said they had cut back their current level of cable/satellite subscription during the prior 6 months, that figure didn’t change significantly among viewers of that age who subscribe to Netflix (25%), Hulu Plus (29%) and Amazon Prime (21%).
The Ipsos survey found just 2% of respondents to have cut the cord within the prior 6 months, a low figure in line with other industry estimates. Again, that behavior did not vary significantly when looking at streaming service subscribers.
As the researchers note, “these services are often used as complementary to the TV viewing experience, with Cord Lovers the most likely to download or stream via iTunes.” Interestingly, the study also separately found that cord-cutters and cord-shavers aged 18-49 were more likely than the average respondent of that age to have cancelled a variety of online streaming service subscriptions during the prior 6 months. That suggests a significant financial component that aligns with prior research on cord-cutting behavior which has shown cost – rather than the availability of shows via alternative sources – to be the prime motivator for cord-cutting behavior.
About the Data: The data is based on Ipsos MediaCT’s TV Dailies study conducted October 21-27, 2013. The results are based on a national online sample of 2,015 adults aged 18-49 who view prime-time TV (between 8pm and 11pm EST/PST and between 7pm and 10pm Central) at least twice a week and do not work in any sensitive industries.