Cord cutting slows in Q3, TiVo study finds

In its survey, TiVo asked whether respondents cut cable/satellite service in the last 12 months, and the chart above lists the "yes" responses.

The rate of customers cutting their cable subscriptions showed a significant slowdown in the third quarter, according to a new survey conducted by TiVo.

“The number of those cutting cable within the preceding year has been trending upward with an increase of nearly 3 percentage points y/y; however, this quarter’s survey results mark the first quarter since Q3 2016 to see a slight decrease in those who cut cable in the last 12 months — whether this trend will continue remains to be seen,” the report said. “This quarter’s decrease is a positive for pay-TV providers, and while it’s possible service cuts may continue to trend downward, the fact remains that one-fifth of respondents still cut service in the last 12 months. An audience of that size still makes it imperative to understand what factors caused the behavior.”

The full TiVo report is available below.

TiVo’s survey covered roughly 3,000 respondents across the United States and Canada and was conducted by “a leading third-party survey service.” The company ostensibly conducts surveys for its customers including Charter, Dish Network, DirecTV and other pay TV providers and broadcast networks.

As for why customers cut their pay TV cord, TiVo found that 85% of respondents did so because the price was too expensive. Roughly 41% said it was because they use a streaming service like Hulu or Netfilx. And around 23% said it was because they have a TV antenna that receives free TV broadcasts.

When asked if they planning to change pay TV providers in the next six months, respondents answered as follows:

  • 5.4% plan to cut their pay TV service.
  • 7.7% plan to change to another pay TV provider.
  • 5.8% plan to switch to an online service or app, such as Netflix, Amazon,Hulu, etc.
  • 27.5% are on the fence, answering “maybe.”

TiVo’s findings dovetail with the results of two other studies. Juniper Research reported today that SVOD services like Netflix and Amazon will drive “a surge in OTT revenues to reach $120 billion in 2022, up from $64 billion in 2017.” The firm also predicted that over a quarter of global households will subscribe to SVOD services by 2022.

Separately, research from vendor Ooyala found that more than 58% of video plays globally occurred on mobile devices in the third quarter of 2017. “This represents the sixth consecutive quarter in which mobile devices accounted for more than 50% of all online video starts, with Q3 mobile-video starts growing 11.9% vs. Q3 2016,” the company reported.