More Consumers 'Shaving' Cable Costs by Turning to Online Video


Staff member
By Mark Hachman

Continued concerns about users "cutting cords" and cancelling cable and satellite TV subscriptions still appear to be overblown. But more consumers are cutting back on their TV packages, "shaving cords" and finding content online.

Just 3.7 percent of the 1,000 Americans surveyed by Altman Vilandrie & Co., a boutique management consulting firm, reported actually cutting the cord and stopping their subscription to TV service. But 20 percent of consumers say they now "shave," spending less money on cable TV service compared to the previous year, thanks to the wealth of online video.

At least 20 percent of those under 44 say they have "seriously considered" cutting the cord, however, Altman's survey found.
Not surprisingly, young people between 18 to 24 are leading the way, with 31 percent claiming to be cord shavers. But that's flat compared to 2010, Hurd said. Instead, the sharpest growth appears to be in the middle-aged adults who head households: 28 percent of those between 35 and 44 claim to be cord shavers, up 9 percentage points from 2010. Strong growth in the 25-34 range (27 percent, up 4 percentage points) and 45-54 (16 percent, up 8 percentage points) was also reported.
Read More: More Consumers 'Shaving' Cable Costs by Turning to Online Video | News & Opinion |

As multichannel video services increase in price at rates that are greater than the inflation rate, it only makes sense that people, especially those who have the expense of a young family, would cord shave. As more people discover that local channels are available free using an antenna, typically with better picture quality than that provided by their multichannel video provider, they will shift from "cord shavers" to "cord cutters." Increasingly, high speed internet service is becoming the anchor product for cable companies. But, on the other hand, they have motivation to prevent stockholders from believing that people are fleeing from their video products (even if that is the case).

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