Experian recently published the 2014 Cross Device Video Analysis which takes a look at a lot of trends including TV viewing, cord cutting, streaming video usage and mobile video viewing. Overall, it has got some interesting insights into what today's video viewer is doing. The thing I found not surprising, but very interesting, had to do with age vs. cord cutting. It's probably exactly in line with what you would expect, but at perhaps a higher level.
TV is King?
The vast majority of people are still watching video on actual TVs according to the Experian data. That's not to say they are actually watching TV content. The category that reached 94% was "any video." It drops ten points to 84% in regards to live programming. Then it tapers off dramatically. Just 32% are watching DVR content and even less for pay-per-view and streaming. The report also states that one-in-six watch 40 hours+ of TV a week, but does that included non-TV content? It would seem so.
Cord-Cutting Rises as Age Decreases?
Here's the interesting stuff. The younger the adults in the household, the higher percentage of cord cutting is happening. They don't address the cord-never question in the research from what I can see though. In terms of overall cord cutting the percentage is just 6.5% of U.S. households, or 7.6 million homes. That's a 44% rise from 2010. In the 35-and-under age group those numbers almost double to 12.4% though some are most likely never had pay TV. When those same households have Netflix or Hulu, it almost doubles again to 24.3%. Note, the chart below is total U.S. households so the numbers differ.
So, Netflix and Hulu are having a large impact on Pay TV subscriptions in under-35 households.
Another interesting impact on cord cutting is mobile device ownership. For example, a single smartphone in the household raises the likelihood of no pay TV subscription 20%. If it's an iPhone it's 33%. An iPad nearly doubles the chance with 65%. That's some serious impact and means that two-out-of-three households with iPads have no Pay TV subscription.
Here's a doozy.
The act of watching streaming video on a television, has a massive impact on pay TV subscriptions. Well, duh! If you're getting all your video content from streaming sources like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc. Why would you pay a cable or satellite company to get the same stuff? Especially when a year of Amazon Prime is about the same as a month of cable?
The Cord Cutter Bio
What is developing is a generalized profile of cord cutters in the U.S. They are more likely to be 35-years-old or younger. They most likely have an iPad or other tablet or smartphone. They often use their television to view streamed media instead of pay TV content. There may also be a game console in the house.
The data found in this report is based on the Summer 2013 Simmons Connect study, a comprehensive survey of 24,219 US adults. Simmons Connect links in-depth consumer lifestyles, attitudes, brand preferences and more to their complete cross-platform media use covering 11 platforms, including smartphones, digital tablets and home computers. The report also sources data from Hitwise, the world’s largest sample of online consumer behavior to help marketers increase the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.
There's more research in the report that I will cover later. If you want to download the whole report just head over to Experian.