cord cuttingU.S. TV households are increasingly relying on over-the-air broadcast TV and over-the-top (OTT) Internet video services, according to a video cord cutting survey from GfK. No less than one-quarter have chosen to forgo cable or satellite pay-TV services.

According to the GfK Home Technology Monitor 2016 Ownership and Trend Report the percentage of U.S. TV households relying solely on over-the-air broadcast TV reception rose from 15% in 2015 to 17% this year. Another 6% reported they didn’t use cable, satellite or broadcast TV at all, relying instead on streaming online video services. That’s up from 4% in 2015.

“The fact that a statistically significant increase in broadcast-only reception occurred over just one year may be further proof that the cord-cutting/cord-never phenomenon is accelerating,” David Tice, SVP in GfK’s Media & Entertainment practice was quoted in a press release about the video cord cutting survey.

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Video Cord Cutting Survey
“If you include homes that have no TVs at all – about 3% of all households – then less than three quarters (73%) of US homes continue to have pay TV service, with the attendant implications for all stakeholders – not just the pay TV services themselves, but also networks, content providers, and advertisers.”

Households that are home to 18-34 year-olds are much more likely to forgo paying for cable or satellite pay-TV services, GfK found. Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) rely on one or another form of alternative TV reception or video source as compared to 25% for all U.S. TV households.

Furthermore, 22% of young adult households are relying solely on over-the-air broadcast TV reception, five percentage points higher than the overall sample mean. Thirteen percent are using Internet video services to watch content on their TV sets, six points above the average for all U.S. TV homes.

At the other end of the age spectrum, more than 8 in 10 TV households that are home to at least one resident age 50 or over (82%) have cable or satellite pay-TV subscriptions. That compares to 75% for all U.S. TV households.

Cable service subscriptions account for most of the difference, GfK notes, as 46% of older adult households have cable service. That compares to a national average 41 percent.

Unsurprisingly, GfK found that reliance on broadcast TV reception in U.S. TV households correlates well with household income. One-quarter (26%) with total annual incomes below $30,000 rely on broadcast TV reception. That compares to a national average of 17% for all U.S. TV homes.

In contrast, over one-quarter of households with annual incomes of $50,000 a year or more (27%) have satellite pay-TV subscriptions. That compares to 21% among all U.S. TV households.

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