More than 20% of US broadband users are ‘cord cheaters’

More than 20% of adult US broadband users that stream content from SVOD services are ‘cord cheaters’ – accessing those services using the account name and password of someone that does not live in the same household – according to new research.

The Diffusion Group (TDG) study said that a “sizable segment” of online subscription video viewers live in households that do not pay for on-demand access to that content, with the rate of ‘cord cheating’ varying among OTT services.

Users of Dish’s new Sling TV service were found to be the worst offenders with 25.5% of viewers reporting that they use the credentials of someone living outside their primary residence.

The proportion of Hulu Plus users that are ‘cord cheaters’ was found to be 21.2%. For Netflix the figure was 19.9%, for HBO GO it was 18.0% and for Amazon Prime it was 9.9%, according to DTG.

“While it is widely acknowledged that ‘cord cheating’ is occurring, few comprehend how widespread the behaviour has become,” said Michael Greeson, TDG founder and director of Research.

“This behaviour reflects the unfortunate mindset among many of today’s media users that it’s perfectly acceptable to ‘share’ digital media — whether files or service access — among friends and family.”