Cutting of the cord -- the fear by many in the cable/TV industry that paying subscribers are cutting from their cable TV subscriptions and running to online video alternatives -- is accelerating, reports a new study by analyst firm the Convergence Consulting Group (in a new report titled "The Battle for the North American (US/Canada) Couch Potato (Online & Traditional TV and Movie Distribution" -- get a synopsis of the report here).
Here are some key findings/forecasts from the study (which is based on company interviews, annual and quarterly reports):
-- cord cutters will reach 3.58 million by year-end 2012 in the U.S.
-- 2.65 million U.S. pay TV subscribers cut their TV subscriptions between 2008-2011, which represents 2.6% of U.S. pay TV subscribers
-- 112,000 pay TV subs were added in 2011 in the U.S., down from 272,000 in 2010 (although the firm forecasts higher pay sub additions in 2012 and 185,000)
-- based on the full-episode TV shows the major broadcasters and cable networks made available online in 2011, 19% of the weekly viewing audience watched on average 1-2 episodes online (up from 18% in 2010 and 15% in 2009)
Certainly, the threat to the forces that be and have been for years (i.e., the cable and satellite providers) will only accelerate at this point, as tech titans continue to heap their resources on their own premium online video offerings. Apart from the obvious (Netflix), think of Amazon Prime, Google/YouTube, and near-certain entry by Apple and others.
All are battling to sit next to you on your living room couch ....