Covid Accelerates Cord-Cutting

A new industry report shows the Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating cord-cutting.

The pandemic means more people are home all day, with many experiencing household budgetary pressures.

According to the Future of TV consumer survey from digital advertising firm The Trade Desk, 27% of US cable TV subscribers plan to cancel their subscriptions by the end of 2021, almost double the 15% who said they cut the cord in 2020.

Pandemic leads to increase in cord-cutting
(Above source: The Trade Desk)

Streaming now accounts for 68% of TV viewing versus 28 % for traditional TV watching, The Trade Desk reports. And almost 39% of sports viewers are now watching live sports events via Connected TV (CTV), which includes ad-supported streaming and social media.

“Covid has accelerated cord-cutting trends that were already underway, to a point where less than 50% of U.S. households today have a cable subscription,” said Tim Sims, chief revenue officer, The Trade Desk. “As more broadcasters launch and expand their streaming services, these gaps are only going to widen.”

Consumers do have a ceiling for streaming spend. Fifty-one percent said they are unwilling to pay more than $20 per month on total streaming subscriptions. Consumers are also five times more likely to prefer free or low-cost streaming with ads over streaming services with higher monthly subscription fees but no ads (72% versus 14%).

Viewers prefer streamers with ads

More information is available in an accompanying white paper, The Future of TV Report: January 2021.

The second annual Future of TV consumer survey of 2,105 US adults was conducted online, December 4-8, 2020, by YouGov for The Trade Desk.

Advertisers Follow the Audience

A separate survey of 150 advertisers conducted with research firm Advertiser Perceptions found that, among marketers who had revised TV plans due to the pandemic, CTV is “the #1 channel choice as marketers reallocate campaign budgets.” CTV also represents 18% of their advertising spend going forward, “a significant acceleration from a standing start in recent years.”

“The TV ad business is at a tipping point. Advertisers can reach more households via CTV than via traditional linear TV for the first time. That trend is not reversing,” said Sims.

Advertiser Perceptions conducted the online survey of 150 TV advertising planning and buying decision makers from November 18-30, 2020.

(Top image source: Piqsels)

About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

View All Articles

Leave a Comment