The cord-cutting world is rife with "cord cheaters," says The Diffusions Group (TDG), putting a catchy new label on those who borrow/steal authentication credentials to watch subscription-based streaming services.
The research company says over 20 percent of adult broadband users who stream subscription video do it with someone else's user name and password.
The problem is particularly acute for Dish Network's (NASDAQ: DISH) new OTT service, Sling TV, with 25.5 percent of users not paying a dime.
Hulu Plus (21.2 percent), Netflix (19.9 percent) and HBO Go (18 percent) are also significantly affected. Amazon Prime has the lowest benchmark of the major services, with TDG reporting its cord-cheating rate at 9.9 percent.
"While it is widely acknowledged that 'cord cheating' is occurring, few comprehend how widespread the behavior has become," said TDG founder and research dirctor Michael Greeson.
"This behavior reflects the unfortunate mindset among many of today's media users that it's perfectly acceptable to 'share' digital media — whether files or service access — among friends and family," Greeson notes. "Why should my daughter pay to stream Netflix when she can simply use my credentials to access the service with little fear of reprisal?"
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Top pay-TV operators added 101,000 subs in Q4, Strategy Analytics says
Cord cutters' monthly expenses could range from $85-$118- without mobile