TV viewers are rejecting the hundred-channel cable bundle.
For decades the entertainment cartel has held American consumers hostage, forcing cable and satellite subscribers to pay for hundreds of channels they never watch and don’t want, just to get a few they do. But with the rise of programming being streamed over the Internet, more and more people are “cutting the cord” – getting rid of their pay-TV subscriptions (thereby saving almost $100 a month, in some cases) and watching shows on the Internet.
A recent article in the New York Times noted that, while over 80% of homes have some form of pay-TV, it is estimated that by the end of the year nearly 5% of those will “cut the cord” and go to viewing TV purely via Internet, or over-the-air with an antenna. This is an increase over last year, when almost 4% of viewers did the same. The industry is also faced with the rising phenomenon of “zero TV homes” – largely young people who, when they move out on their own, never do get a cable or satellite subscription to begin with, and who rely entirely on the Internet for their television.
While 5% seems like a small number, it will only increase as ever more tech-savvy young adults move away from the pay-TV model of spending $100 a month on shows they never watch. If the industry offered viewers ala carte, in which people would only pay for what they want to watch, it could survive and even thrive. But the industry appears intent on clinging to its outmoded model of forcing people to pay for something they don’t want.