Cord cutting is happening. No it's not. Yes it is. No it's not...

Numbers streaming about cord cutters, cord nevers and hangers-on

Cord cutting is happening. No it's not. Yes it is. No it's not...
Credit: Thinkstock

I practically kick myself every time our Verizon FiOS cable bill arrives because I still haven't acted on my intention to cut the cord in some way that won't drive my family nuts and will allow me to watch local sports.

Re-energizing my focus of late, I've created a Google Alert on "cord cutting" to force myself to read up on the topic and latest statistics daily. But if I was confused before, I'm even more so now.

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Deloitte, in its 11th annual Digital Democracy Survey of U.S. consumers, found that three quarters of more than 2,100 consumers surveyed online said they still subscribe to pay TV, such as cable or satellite, most because it comes bundled with internet service. Nevertheless, almost half of consumers subscribe to a paid streaming video service like Netflix, and nearly 60% of generation Z, millennials and Gen X do so. And more services, like YouTube TV announced last month, keep coming.

As DSL Reports notes, it's cheaper for lots of people (i.e., Comcast subscribers in areas where the company has a monopoly) to stick with a TV/broadband bundle rather than buying broadband alone from the provider.

Though even Comcast acknowledges that cord cutting is for real, according to what sources have told Reuters ("Comcast to expand streaming service amid cord-cutting trend").

Because even though Deloitte's survey shows plenty of people hanging on to their pay TV packages, other reports indicate extreme cord cutting is underway:

*North of the border, for example, a record number of customers nixed their TV subscriptions to Canada's big providers last year, according to a report by Ottawa-based research and consulting firm Boon Dog Professional Services. (Though Boon Dog did say IPTV subscriber growth slowed and that cable companies suffered smaller losses than they had recently.)

*The Diffusion Group has issued a report, "Life Without Legacy Pay-TV: A Profile of U.S. Cord Cutters and Cord Nevers", in which it says the percentage of cord nevers has risen from 9% of U.S. broadband-outfitted homes in 2011 to 22% now, according to a FierceCable article on the report.

*A report from ReportLinker examines the growing use of smartphones to access the internet from home — a trend that doesn't bode well for traditional broadband services. Almost 40% of Americans say they access the internet at home via a phone, explaining that they have unlimited data on their phones and that their connections are faster than home broadband connectivity, according to the report. 

*S&P Global Market Intelligence's Kagan research group found that cord cutting accelerated in the 4th quarter of 2016, with cable/satellite/telecom companies losing 1.8 million video subscribers in the U.S. for the year. The silver lining comes for cable, which has had slowing losses for three straight years.

*DVR and streaming services company TiVo, in its quarterly Pay-TV and online video trends report issued earlier this month, found that of the 17% of the 3,100 people surveyed without a Pay-TV provider, about 1 in 5 of them cut the cord in the past 12 months. That's up 1.9% on a quarter to quarter and 2.3% on a year over year basis.

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