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US cord cutting accelerates, with cord shavers looking to exit

Almost a third of US TV households no longer have a traditional pay TV subscription, according to Roku’s latest annual Cord Cutting study, while a further quarter of homes identified as ‘cord shavers’ and have cut back their pay TV spend.

The study found that approximately 32% of households do not have a pay TV subscription and 25% have cut back their service. Of the latter, some 45% said they were likely to cut the cord fully in the next six months.

The majority of Cord Cutter households say they are satisfied with their decision and wish they had cut their traditional pay TV service earlier. Cutting home entertainment expenses was cited as the primary reason for cutting the cord.

Roku said that its own users who cut the cord said they saved approximately US$75 per month, which the device and service provider said represented a higher average savings than cord cutters who said they use other streaming devices.

Roku reported that half of all TV households said they have been watching more, free ad-supported TV – the staple of Roku’s own service – during the COVID-19 pandemic than they did before.

Some 40% of recent cord cutter households say that access to free trials and extended free trials to premium subscription services helped convince them to cut traditional pay TV service.

According to the study, only 17% of recent cord cutter households said they would re-subscribe to traditional pay TV when live sports returns this year. Thirty-one percent said they are likely to subscribe to a live sports streaming service instead.

Some 52% of pay TV households say they are likely to reduce their package if televised live sports on traditional pay TV does not return.

“While we entered 2020 with significant momentum around cord cutting, we’re now seeing that the COVID-19 pandemic and the pause of live sports has caused consumers to rethink how they access home entertainment and what they are willing to pay,” said Roku Chief Marketing Officer Matthew Anderson.

“It’s clear that value matters more than ever and the abundance of free content, free trials to premium streaming services and the savings that consumers achieve are fuelling the shift to streaming.”

Tags: cord cutting, Roku, US