Cord Cutters Say They’re Saving Money, Poll Says

Cord cutters say they are saving an average of $115 per month, according to a new survey, which also found that within five years more than half of current cable customers doubt they’ll still subscribe to traditional pay TV.

At a time when pay-TV subscribers are eroding, the poll, conducted by personal finance website LendEdu, indicates things may not be getting any easier for the traditional TV business.

In the poll, 58% of cord-cutters said they cut the cord because their TV cable subscription was too expensive, 21.2% said they used their cable subscription less because of streaming services and 11.8% said their cable subscription didn’t provide the content they wanted. 

The survey puts the average cost of traditional pay TV services at $116.93 per month.

A smaller number of cord cutters, 4%, said they resented the “greed” of cable companies.

The vast majority of cord cutters, 71.6% said they used streaming services before dropping cable. The average cord cutter in the survey had 2.77 streaming subscriptions before cancelling traditional pay TV.

The cord cutters said they paid $33.74 per month on streaming before cutting the cord.

After cutting the cord, they spent $35.33 on streaming services.

On top of that, 34.4% of cord cutters said they also used online subscriptions that weren’t theirs and that they didn’t pay for. That password sharing was saving them about $51.38 per month.

Of those subscribing to pay-TV, 79.8% said they subscribed to at least one streaming service. They subscribed to an average of 2.5 streaming services and paid $30.87 per month for those subscriptions.

Only 52.13% of cable subscribers said they used cable more than streaming services.

When asked if they would consider cutting the cord, 65% said yes, with most of them saying they would be driven to that by increases in the price of cable subscriptions.

Asked about their future as cable subscribers, 31% said they didn’t think they would be using cable in one year, 49.6% said they didn’t think they’d be using cable in three years, and in five years, 56% said no.

The biggest attraction for subscribing to cable was the ability to channel surf, cited by 42.6% of respondents, followed by “not having to depend on my WiFi connection (35.2%), live sports, (11.8%) and live news (10.4%).

The poll was conducted online for LendEdu by Pollfish, which surveyed 500 cord cutters and 500 cable subscribers. The polls were taken over four days beginning Dec. 28, 2017.

Jon Lafayette

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.