More consumers are relying on broadband-only connections in their homes, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're cutting the cord. Nielsen's latest three-screen report reveals that there are now 5.1 million broadcast only/broadband homes in the United States, up 23% from last year. Those are homes with Internet connectivity but not cable TV channels. But the growth may be coming from homes that never had broadband in the first place rather than homes cutting back. For more details, check out this week's New Media Minute.
So Nielsen just released its latest report on changes in TV viewing habits across screens, and there's evidence to show that consumers are, in fact, relying on broadband only. Nielsen found that there are 5.1 million broadcast only/broadband homes–meaning they have Internet connectivity but not cable television services. Now that compares to nearly 81 million homes with cable channels.
So the Internet-only homes are the smallest group of the bunch, but the fastest growing by nearly 23% over the the last year.
Nielsen also found that new media is way up in the three years since they started putting out this 3-screen report. Time spent watching online video is up about 80% over that time. Lots of analysts will assume that this means cord-cutting is, in fact, occurring–that we're ditching cable to watch TV solely via the laptop or tablet.
So I asked Bruce Leichtman of Leichtman Research for his take, and he said that many of the broadband-only homes are those who never had broadband before–rather than cable TV homes that are scaling back. And there's research that indicates that overall TV viewing has grown in the last year. Back to Nielsen… Nielsen says these broadband-only homes watch half as much TV as the average home and twice as much streaming video.
So we'll need to watch viewing behavior closely moving forward to see how it all shakes out.