Why Americans are considering saying bye to traditional TV
April 19th, 2022, Hoang Nguyen

Why Americans are considering saying bye to traditional TV

Many people were ready to leave traditional TV behind even before the disruptions in media consumption brought on by the pandemic. As we settle into the post-pandemic world two years from its onset, what does the future of TV look like?

According to a new analysis from YouGov, 30% of US consumers with a cable subscription are likely to cancel their traditional TV service within the next six months. These consumers who are likely to end their cable subscription represent a market size of approximately 31 million consumers in the US.

Cable cancellation in the US appears to be driven by young adults. Among those likely to cancel their cable subscription, 22% of these consumers are between the ages of 18-24 (vs. 18% of all US adults). Cord cutters are significantly less likely to be aged 45 and over compared to the overall US population.

When asked why they would consider canceling their cable subscription, the top reasons among those who are keen to cancel their cable subscription in the US have to do with cost. More than a third of this audience say it is more cost-effective to cancel cable TV (37%) and 27% say they don’t watch enough TV to justify the cost of cable.

The quality of TV content also plays a role in why people are leaving cable; 31% of those likely to cancel in the US say they don’t want to pay for shows they never watch, and a similar share of this audience say they can get traditional TV content without a cable subscription (30%).

We also explore the draws of streaming services among this group in the US to understand what could potentially motivate them not to only to cut the cord but also switch to streaming.

The top reason why those who are likely to cancel their cable subscription in the US use streaming services is for the ability to watch on the move (25%). Many also cite access to content not available on cable as another important reason for streaming (22%), as is the ability to watch things whenever they want (22%).

As we look forward to the future of TV, watch YouGov’s Tech-Talk Webinar with eMarketer where we analyze the media landscape in 2022 and identify emergent growth opportunities for advertisers. Tune into the webinar and learn:

  • How Americans expect to consume media in the year ahead
  • Which media channels are most likely to remain profitable
  • Where to reach and engage the next generation of cord cutters