Experian: 7.6M Homes Have Cut the Pay TV Cord

Despite their relatively small size compared to the rest of the pay TV universe, cord cutters are on the rise, increasing their numbers by about 44% over the past four years, with households that already subscribe to a streaming video service most susceptible to severing their traditional cable or satellite relationship, according to a new study from Experian Marketing Services.

Experian estimates that as many as 7.6 million homes have cut the cord, up from 5.1 million in 2010. That compares to about 100 million homes across the country that subscribe to some kind of pay television service.

Experian notes that households with a Netflix or Hulu subscription are 18.1% more likely to cut the cord, compared with 12.7% in 2010.

Mobile is emerging as the first screen for online video, according to Experian: 24% of adults watch video on a smartphone each week. And despite the availability of Internet-connected devices such as Apple TV and Roku, which are designed to make online video viewable on a traditional TV screen, fewer than 1 in 10 adults report watching online video on a TV screen during the week.

“While we are seeing the way we view video drastically changing, television is likely to remain the primary device for consumer video; we just are witnessing the transition of the definition of television,” Experian senior analyst of marketing and research John Fetto said. “A third of Americans live in households with Internet-connected TVs, giving them the option to stream or download video to the television either directly or with devices such as Kindle Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and Google Chromecast.”

The types and brands of devices in the home also play a big role in determining whether a home is more likely to cut the cord. According to Experian, homes with any brand of smartphone are 20% more likely to cut the cord, while IPhone homes are 33% more likely to sever their traditional pay TV relationship.