A growing group of U.S. households plans to cancel pay-TV within the next 12 months, according to a new study — an alarming indicator for cable programmers and operators.
About 2.9% of American pay-TV consumers said they are “very likely” to cancel service in the year ahead, per a June 2014 survey by Frank M. Magid Associates. That was up slightly from last year, when 2.7% of pay-TV subs said they were very likely to cut the cord, and up from 2.2% two years ago, per Magid.
The likelihood of dropping subscription television is highest among younger consumers. Of those aged 25-34, 4.9% said they are very likely to cut the cord on the most recent Magid survey.
“These are very small numbers in terms of future cord-cutting from American consumers,” said Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors. “But in mass media, very small numbers are very important, too.”
The Magid online survey sampled 2,400 consumers 8-64 from June 6-9, 2014. The firm said the margin of error among pay-TV subscribers on the survey was 2.4%.
In the second quarter of 2014, the U.S. pay-TV market collectively lost a net of about 305,000 subscribers in the second quarter of 2014, but that was an improvement over a loss of 387,000 in Q2 last year, according to Wall Street analyst firm MoffettNathanson.