Cord cutting in rural markets is not happening as quickly as in urban and suburban areas, and rural residents aren’t dissatisfied with, or cutting the cord on their pay-TV services for the same reasons, according to a new rural video survey commissioned by Innovative Systems.

Rural demographics differ markedly from those of urban and suburban areas, Innovative points out. Just 1% of those living in rural-area homes rely exclusively on OTT services for streaming video, according to an exclusively rural area study of subscription video services and the impacts of streaming video carried out by Cronin Communications for Innovative Systems.

About 8% of U.S. households have canceled their pay-TV subscriptions and turned to OTT video services instead, according to Nielsen, but that’s based on a nationally representative sample. That skews the results heavily towards viewing habits and actions taken by urban and suburban residents, who make up 80% of the U.S. population according to the latest 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data, Innovative notes.

Cord Cutting in Rural Markets
Generally speaking, people living in rural communities are older, have fewer children living at home and cannot access as many broadcast channels using over-the-air antennas as their urban and suburban counterparts, Innovative Systems, a provider of voice and IPTV software and technology, based in Mitchell, S.D., elaborated.

Additional survey findings include:

  • Pay-TV subscription video in rural America now stands at 82% of homes. Thirteen-percent of homes are antenna-only, 1% are OTT only and 4% have no television.
  • Those who maintain subscription video spend an average of $90.64 per month; have had their accounts for 11.83 years; and have 2.63 working televisions.
  • Twenty-three percent (23%) of rural homes stream video from the Internet an average of 7.59 hours per week.
  • Seventy-five percent (75%) of rural homes have Internet service.
  • The average home spends $51.78 per month on Internet access (not including cellular).

In addition, it should be noted that in market research released January 22 Nielsen found that watching ¨Live TV¨ is still far and away the most popular means of viewing video content. Live TV viewing was rated the most popular viewing method by survey participants in 24 of 25 Designated Market Areas (DMAs) nationwide.

Furthermore, the percentage of U.S. adult broadband users ¨moderately¨ or ¨highly likely¨ to cut the cord on pay-TV services dropped a sharp 20% between early 2014 and 2015, according to study released by TDG last November.

Editor’s Note: These research findings will be featured and covered in additional detail at the upcoming broadbandTV event, taking place at the FTTH Connect Show, June 14 – 16 in Nashville.

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