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TV Cord-Cutters Good With Cutting

4 Jun, 2014 By: Doug McPherson

SAN FRANCISCO – A full 84 percent of cable and satellite cord cutters are either “extremely happy” or “pretty happy” with their decision, says a new study from nScreenMedia.  Only 8 percent are “pretty unhappy” and 9 percent say they “hate it” and wish they had service again.

Craig Moffett, a principal of MoffettNathanson Research, says in the report, “We have always argued that cord-cutting is an economic phenomenon, not a technological one. Pay-TV revenue growth reflects rapid pay-TV pricing growth and that is precisely the problem. Rapidly rising prices are squeezing lower-income consumers out of the ecosystem.”

Economics tells the story. The study says DirecTV’s average price per home grew 3.8 percent in 2013, while median U.S. household income increased just 2.1 percent. Since 2002, DirecTV has increased its average TV price package 2.4 percent per year while median household income has fallen 0.4 percent a year.

The report says about one-third of cord-cutters miss TV shows they “can’t find anywhere else,” like AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men,” and HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” But about the same percentage – 29 percent – say they miss “absolutely nothing.”

Some studies are showing the value of TV is declining. For example, the “perceived value” of free, ad-supported websites that air TV shows is slipping along with pay-TV subscriptions. Subscription video services have a slightly higher value.

Hub Entertainment Research says 64 percent of users say free, ad-supported websites such as Hulu either are of excellent or good value. This compares to 68 percent a year ago. Multichannel video program distributors’ subscriptions – cable, satellite or telco – are at 45 percent, down from 49 percent a year ago. Likewise, premium cable network subscriptions are down – 28 percent versus 32 percent a year ago. But 71 percent say they’ll either definitely or probably keep their traditional pay-TV video package during the next year. Only online streaming subscriptions overall are up: 49 percent versus 46 percent.

Hub says Netflix is growing as an alternative to DVR usage and that 18 percent say DVRs are a “default” when it comes to TV programming versus 20 percent last year, while Netflix has improved to 14 percent from 13 percent a year ago.

One in five respondents said they began watching a TV show “because of posts you saw from friends on Facebook” – the highest result of eight social-media questions.

Hub surveyed 1,500 TV consumers age 16-64 who watch at least five hours of week and have broadband access.

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