Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cable Nevers And Cord Cutters Aren't The Same Thing

As cable subscriptions drop, many cite the rising niche of cord cutters as the cause.  They are households who once had a cable subscription that decide to drop their service, likely for a broadband only video world.  Cord cutters may be motivated to their action due to the rising costs of TV programming that gets passed on to the consumer by price hikes.  The rise of streaming services like the new CBS streaming app and HBO GO to offer non-cable streaming access to its content is seen as a way to recapture these cord cutters.  But perhaps they are not the only non cable groups.

Cable Nevers, or households that have never had a cable subscription, may also be on the rise.  They are the next generation of home or apartment owners, fresh out of school, or on limited budgets, that determine that a broadband connection is more valuable to them then a cable subscription.  Under a household controlled by their parents, they enjoyed the fruits of cable, but on their own, they beg, borrow and steal to get access.  Some stay connected to their parents Netflix account, or their authenticated HBO GO subscription or perhaps an Amazon Prime account and some may connect to a Slingbox from a friend or family.  At the same time they enjoy access to a ton of free content from You Tube, Hulu, Crackle, and more.  And when they must watch a linear show, a local bar might just offer a game or two.

The threat of high costs of cable subscriptions may not be that current subscribers will cut the cord; we may be too addicted to give up on all that content.  The real worry is that the next generation of households will start their homes without a cable connection.  On limited budgets, their video entertainment will come from OTT connections and Cable Nevers they will remain.

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