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New Numbers Reveal: Cord Cutting is Real. Or not.

New Numbers Reveal: Cord Cutting Is Real

I’d love to believe that “cord cutting” – dropping a cable subscription in favor of web delivered video – is growing and that Internet distribution is a raging success. Except it’s not. At least not yet.GigOm quote some statistics – and for sure this is the biggest quarterly drop that cable subscription numbers have experienced  – but the reality is:

… much of those losses seem to be attributable to customers who subscribed to pay TV early last year due to the broadcast digital transition. Now these customers see the prices for their introductory packages going up, and quite a few of them have decided not to stick around.

Another GigOm post says that “45% of TV viewers get their shows online,” which makes a great headline, until you read the body of the article:

Almost half of all consumers watch TV content online every week, according to a new study released by the Ericsson ConsumerLab today

Watching a single video on YouTube would qualify you in that 45% so there’s no news there, particulalry when the same article presents:

However, linear TV content still reigns supreme: 93 percent watch plain old television every week.

So, watching online video doesn’t diminish the watching of conventional Television.

There are definitely “cord cutters” out there – ourselves among them – who have dropped cable or satellite (and over the air).

As an aside I couldn’t help noting the end of the article:

Apple, on the other hand, should be encouraged by Ericsson’s findings. 37 percent of consumers are very interested in a touch-screen tablet as a remote control for their TV.

That’s what I said months ago. It’s the logical solution to the problem.

If you want to give it a go (cord cutting) Salone has an article today Cut the cord: A guide to free TV but that article’s point one is to “adjust your expectations”! Right.

The most sane commentary on the subject in the last day or so comes from Silicon Alley Insider’s Judge The Success Of Web Video By Real Business, Not Hype Like “Cord Cutting.” I’m big on “real business results” since that’s what ultimately we judge on. The always sensible Dan Rayburn (president of concludes a very long and excellent counterpoint to the unreasonable optimism from “online video” proponents with:

Notice almost no analyst talks about what’s taking place today? It’s almost always about the future and three or four years away yet there are plenty of opportunities right now. This industry survived the crash in 2000 because expectations were re-set and consumers, vendors, VCs and others all came back down to reality of what was real and what was hype. Many of us don’t want to see the industry go through another correction like that, even though in the long run, it was the best thing that could of happened at the time. It will sound odd to some, but for those in the industry at that time, they will most certainly agree with me that our industry needed to go through that in order to survive and be where it is today.

Don’t let the hype in this industry become the metrics for how we judge true success in the market.



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