Many Amazon, Hulu, Netflix subscribers still pay for cable

Reelgood’s data doesn’t refute the fact that a massive amount of subscribers bailed on pay TV in the first quarter. (islandjoe/CC BY 2.0)

Cord-cutting trends suggest that more consumers are ditching traditional pay TV, and opting for one or more streaming video services instead. But, some new data shows that lots of people are having it both ways.

Reelgood, a search engine designed to locate services needed for streaming specific movies and TV shows, analyzed some of its user data, and found that a lot of people who subscribe to the big three U.S. SVODs (Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Netflix) still pay for cable. Specifically, the company found that 91% of Hulu subscribers, 77% of Prime Video subscribers and 51% of Netflix subscribers still pay for cable television.

Reelgood said it came to this conclusion after taking a sampling from its more than one million users by qualifying only the most active users – accounts that have updated their streaming sources this month. The company then filtered by location (all the participants are currently in the U.S.), and analyzed how many of its users who still pay for cable TV also choose to supplement that with Hulu, Netflix, or Prime – as noted in each users’ selected streaming sources on Reelgood.


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RELATED: Cord-cutting trend losing momentum, study says

Reelgood’s data doesn’t refute the fact that a massive amount of subscribers bailed on pay TV in the first quarter. According to Informitv’s Multiscreen Index, total video subscriber losses during the first quarter at about 1.28 million for the top 10 U.S. video providers. Media analyst firm MoffettNathanson put the total losses at 1.4 million subscribers.

Still, Reelgood said that many people are hanging onto traditional pay TV, and that a lot of that has to do with fragmentation frustration.

“One interesting reason we saw for older people going back to or staying true to cable TV is that switching between different streaming services, to see where a particular show or movie is available proved very frustrating and time-consuming for them,” Reelgood wrote.

Reelgood is one option for streamers trying to keep all the different services, content choices and devices straight. But, more companies are jumping in with video service aggregation platforms that combine access, search, discovery and billing into one centralized hub. Amazon Channels and the Roku Channel have been offering these services for a while now, and recently, Apple and Comcast showed up with their own options.

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