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23% of Pay-TV Subs ‘Trimmed’ Cord Last Year

A new survey found that 23% of pay-TV subscribers engaged in cord trimming in the last year.

Cord cutting has become a big concern to the TV industry as streaming services and other digital offerings provide options to consumers. The report by PwC found that more TV audiences are choosing to downsize or opt out of their pay-TV services.

To be sure, the pay-TV bundle still lives. The PwC study found that 79% of consumers in the U.S. subscribe to a traditional cable, satellite or telco video service. But 16% said they have unsubscribed from pay-TV in the past year. Another 5% were identified as cord nevers who have never subscribed to a pay-TV service.

“Consumers are clamoring for customization and control,” the PwC report said. “When asked what would entice consumers to re-subscribe to pay-TV, 56% identified ‘being able to customize my package to exactly the channels that I want’ as their number one motivator. And this sentiment is not exclusive to cord-cutters: 45% of current pay-TV subscribers said they most preferred an ‘a la carte’ package of channels that they could customize themselves.”

PwC offered some recommendations aimed at keeping content providers and video distributors relevant.

  • Re-position the bundle to compete with a la carte demands.
  • Redefine measurements to capture meaningful consumer behavior across devices and platforms.
  • Focus on content discovery to help consumers find and engage with content that’s relevant to them.
  • Rethink commercials and the value of eyeballs as viewers grow increasingly distracted by multiple devices.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.