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40 Percent of America Will Cut the Cord By 2030, New Report Predicts (vice.com) 114

bumblebaetuna shares a report from Motherboard: By 2030, as many as 40 percent of Americans will have cut the cord, according to predictions in a new report by market analyst TDG Research. The percent of U.S. households still shelling out for cable has dropped every year since 2012. If the trend continues on the current path, TDG predicts the percent of U.S. households subscribing to pay TV will drop to 60 percent in the next 13 years. Cost is a major driver of this shift: the cost of bundling a few favorite streaming services together still pales in comparison to the average cable bill. TDG found that two thirds of cord cutters and "cord nevers" (people who have never paid for cable) said service expense was the key reason they do not use legacy pay TV services. There's also a generational shift: 61 percent of adults aged 18-29 say online streaming services are the primary way they watch TV.

40 Percent of America Will Cut the Cord By 2030, New Report Predicts

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  • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2017 @07:52PM (#55684731) Journal

    I doubt that my kids will ever have a cable-tv cord to cut. They are part of the cable-never generation.

    • by networkBoy ( 774728 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2017 @07:54PM (#55684743) Journal

      I have never paid for cable. I've enjoyed it sometimes when others have footed the bill for various reasons and it's free to me. Price for what I want is the overwhelming reason. I want a small number of channels that are only available in the highest tier packages, and have no desire to pay that much for really only a couple shows.

      • by mikael ( 484 )

        I used to pay for cable. But once Virgin Media and Sky got into a squabble over the costs of channel syndication, and ended up blocking the the brand new series of Battlestar Galactica that was playing at the time (and was the only show I really wanted to watch), I canceled my entire cable subscription. Every month sales people would call me up asking if I wanted to upgrade my service. Every month. I would tell them exactly why I wasn't going to upgrade. They lost around £50/month for a good few years

      • by Anonymous Coward

        When I moved into my townhome community, we had cable. It was a package deal, where the entire community of 800 got cable for about 10 dollars a month.

        The contract expired, and in the time that passed, most of the channels we received had been repackaged into premium add-on packages. To receive almost equivalent services, the cable company offered us a renewal of 89 dollars a month, but to receive the same channels, we would have to pay 120 dollars a month.

        As the entire community wasn't willing to make th

    • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2017 @08:53PM (#55685087)

      I doubt that my kids will ever have a cable-tv cord to cut. They are part of the cable-never generation.

      Any gain will be temporary, as Ajit Pai and his owners and handlers turn the internet into Cable TV mod two, with multi tier service, yearly double digit price inflation, and if you want the fast speeds, we have the ultra Patriotic rate of 500 dollars a month, with hundresd of high quality entertainment channels as part of the package. Featuring the Honey Boo-Boo network.

      There will be a basic rate of 75 dollars a month that will be at 56K modem speed, and a 100 Megabyte cap.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        For the rest of the more modern, democratic and free world (not the USA, rapidly degenerating into a corrupt autocracy), people are not actually cutting the cable, so much as replacing it with a better one, a more open one, one they share with the rest of the world and where all the worlds content will compete. You have seen nothing yet, the really big moment starts with effective and invisible auto translate services and then you will really see the Artificial Intelligence that is the Earth's computer netw

      • The internet cowboys who built the internet in the first place will come in on the municipal fibre systems and offer un-metered bandwidth.
        • The internet cowboys who built the internet in the first place will come in on the municipal fibre systems and offer un-metered bandwidth.

          That will probably be made illegal.

    • Anyone about 50 or older is also part of the cable-never generation. They grew up on broadcast TV. Cable TV didn't really make a splash until the 1980s. So it's only those of us who were born between about 1970 to 2000 who have only ever gotten our TV through a cord.
      • Not really. When I was young, I had a black & white TV with 3 channels. I had cable for decades, and though I've trimmed the cord, I still haven't cut it entirely.

      • by Ranbot ( 2648297 )

        Anyone about 50 or older is also part of the cable-never generation. They grew up on broadcast TV. Cable TV didn't really make a splash until the 1980s. So it's only those of us who were born between about 1970 to 2000 who have only ever gotten our TV through a cord.

        Or if you currently live in or grew up in a rural area.* I am in my mid-30's and I never had cable TV until I went off to college (1998), because my parent's house is on a gravel road in rural New England. It was only 3-4 years ago that cable TV and internet even became an option for my parents. In fact, my parents never got a "cord" to cut, because they only hooked up to cable internet, kept using the antenna for local stations like they always did, and my wife and I had a spare device registry under our N

    • by havana9 ( 101033 )
      I am writing from Italy. Cable TV here never had a big train, some council houses complex and some "new Towns",made in the '70 and some tourist town like Venice and Siena had a CATV system that mainly was used to get rid of terrestrial antennas. Satellite and terrestrial pay TV have more diffusion
      . Now, most people here are ok with free terrestrial TV and pay tv services are struggling too, because if you have decent programmes of free TV you can't possibly watch two program at the same time. The only pe
    • by Xyrus ( 755017 )

      The cable never generation is going to end this month, when ISPs turn the internet into cable tv.

    • This Christmas is going to be a frenzy of cord cutting. These 4k smart TVs are crazy cheap and very good quality.

  • But we will know where we are at in 5 years
  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2017 @07:54PM (#55684747)
    Should you decide to cancel our fine cable TV package. Once the repeal of net neutrality is complete you might letters like this from your favorite cable-based internet provider.
    • Exactly. The only streaming service Comcast is going to let through is Netflix because they partner with them. The rest will either need to pay a fee to Comcast or get throttled.
      • by Berkyjay ( 1225604 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2017 @08:36PM (#55684989)

        Meh, if they do try this extortion BS I'll just stop watching TV and movies altogether and go play more video games and go out hiking more often. It'll probably be the best thing to ever happen to me.

        • I've reached the destination you are pondering, years ago already. I don't subscribe to cable TV, satellite, "on demand" anything, or "streaming services". Very rarely even do I torrent such entertainment these days. There ARE totally other things to do to fill up any empty hours you might find in your day.

          But this funny business with net neutrality is designed exactly for people like you and me. We say we don't want it, and we won't pay... the cable company says "Yes you will, unless you also want us to c
        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          Meh, if they do try this extortion BS I'll just stop watching TV and movies altogether and go play more video games and go out hiking more often. It'll probably be the best thing to ever happen to me.

          Get hiking, then. Video games will be throttled to heck and back as best as they can, making multiplayer online gaming impossible unless you subscribe to the package. Perhaps your single player game is unaffected, if you can get it downloaded in the first place...

          • making multiplayer online gaming impossible unless you subscribe to the package.

            Dear Odin I don't play online games. What am I? 12?

    • by ranton ( 36917 )

      Cable companies have already made cord cutting not a very viable option for actually saving money. My cable bill is $120 (plus taxes and fees) which pays for Internet and a 220 channel lineup plus HBO. Internet alone is $80. Netflix is $14 and Hulu is $8, so even with just those two services I would be down to a grand total of $18 in savings each month by cutting the cord.

      By 2030, cable television could just be included with your internet connection. The movie studios and sports leagues would just get paid

  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2017 @07:59PM (#55684779) Journal

    Predictions are like assholes: everyone has one and they all stink.

  • What I would do is build our own streaming service on top of the Comcast network and combine the best of YouTube and NetFlix. Key features:

    1. Open speech platform; all legal speech in the US is uncensored.
    2. All content from day one must be accurately labeled in an ESRB-style system with a lot of flexibility.
    3. Built in monetization for all content creators.
    4. Merge it with the groups that handle the existing VoD so it has access to all of that streaming content up front.

    Who needs net neutrality? Why we hav

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      All content from day one must be accurately labeled in an ESRB-style system

      Who pays for age classification of amateur or low-budget professional video?

      • One could create a three tier rating system:
        • The first tier is third party, like the current ESRB.
        • The third tier is 'Self-Reported' and is labeled as such. Viewers could use their own discretion about whether to trust such ratings, and could input into the system whether they agree or disagree with the rating. Content creators would have at built-in albeit limited incentive to try and self-assess accurately, since they know the demographic they want to attract.
        • The second tier would be something like 'Self
  • Took me a while to drop it (like two months ago) but I haven't even replaced it with OTA or Hulu. Just gone, buh bye.
    • Same here. A few years back I bought my dream house, and had not yet sold my old place. I knew money was going to be really tight until the old place sold. So I cancelled my cable. It was a little tough for the first two weeks or so, but after that I found that I had other things to do.
      Three months later when my old place finally sold, I never even considered getting cable TV again.
      Now at four years with out cable, and not missing it.
  • we'll still be corded in paying for internet. And thanks to the death of Net Neutrality we'll be paying more than ever for the exact same (or less) content.
    • Yes without Net Neutrality legal protections the telcom syndicate will have free reign to perform deep packet inspection and toll video and voice with whatever fee they can legally extort. One way or another they will find a way to abuse their privileged government status to enact artificial scarcity and charge premiums.
    • I see you've swallowed the anti-capitalist Net Neutrality trick hook, line, and sinker. P.T. Barnum had you pegged.
  • Think it will be 80% or more.

    • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

      Yeah, 40 seems really low.

      It's be shocked if Comcast doesn't basically turn into an ISP, with access costing about $120, sure, they'll offer content subs, but it will be as a stand alone app that works on any internet. They'll ramp up internet costs (they already are in my area) to make up for lost revenue.

  • by Picodon ( 4937267 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2017 @08:23PM (#55684913)

    The irony is that, while “cutting the cord” of cable television, we subscribe to service that uses the very same cable, except in a way for which it was not designed (unicast vs. broadcast) and is ill-suited. We thus end up obtaining even worse quality of service for about the same price, from the exact same people, who are preparing to screw us even further by changing the rules of service back to... those of cable television. Checkmate. Happy future, everyone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by NeumannCons ( 798322 )
      Actually, cable is rapidly becoming more and more designed for high-speed data (more accurately bi-directional high speed data).

      Cable companies (MSOs - or Multi Systems Operators) have been upgrading their infrastructure (HFC or Hybrid Fiber Coaxial) for years now by replacing main trunks with fiber, re-allocating frequency ranges from TV to data, and developing new standards for equipment in the home (DOCSIS). While the original equipment was not really designed to support bi-directional data, the last d
      • At this point, they're looking at ways of expanding that reach for the last mile.

        No, no they are not. They do not give a fuck about the last mile. That's why people on both ends of the loop road I am on have cable, and I don't. The plant will reach here, but not enough people lived out here to bother running the cable another mile or two.

        • It's a matter of cost. When technology makes it possible to expand the last mile *and make it profitable* they will do so.

          Businesses are not charities. The only reason they'll spend millions so they can charge you $70 a month is if they're legislated to do so (like they required the phone company to install phone lines in farm land).

          A lot of former communist countries experienced years of lack of investment in their phone system when under communist rule - only the elite were able to get phones. After the
      • Interesting! Certainly, the high throughput of DOCSIS 3.1, with possible full-duplex on the horizon, seems attractive. Whether this translates in high residential bi-directional performance presumably depends on several factors. First, technical issues, like the size of a serving area (10 Gb/s is great, until it’s shared by 2000 households!); or the way collisions are handled, impacting latency (in the typical urban neighbourhood, how many modems are typically connected to the same upstream port?); or

    • we subscribe to service that uses the very same cable, except in a way for which it was not designed (unicast vs. broadcast) and is ill-suited.

      That problem was already solved in the late 1990s. Companies like Akamai and Cloudflare developed content delivery networks [wikipedia.org] - oft-requested online content was cached closer to the destination, relieving much of the transmission bandwidth load from the Internet backbones (the data only needed to be transmitted once to each local CDN). This is what allows websites l

      • broadcast is good for live content and steaming needs to have off line download / being able to que and buffer shows say nearing the end of one episode let you start buffering the next one. or even say let some buffer 4K on a slow link that can just stream HP live.

      • As you wrote, the problem mostly lies within the last mile. But caching is not a complete solution, because the problem is also about getting good performance when (a) sending data upstream (serving data, VoIP, etc.), (b) when connecting to a variety of remote servers (not just the handful of “popular” ISP-endorsed big players like Netflix, YouTube, etc., who can afford to pay their way to ensure good delivery through locally distributed caches), and (c) when using end-to-end encryption, which e

      • we subscribe to service that uses the very same cable, except in a way for which it was not designed (unicast vs. broadcast) and is ill-suited.

        That problem was already solved in the late 1990s. [Amakai]

        It was solved before that. My mid-1990s ISP had Usenet, just like most everyone else's ISP back then. But now Usenet servers are just run by a small handful of companies, so I'm going through the whole internet instead of just downloading from a building a few miles away.

        I'm sure there's a business case for

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      The irony is that, while âoecutting the cordâ of cable television, we subscribe to service that uses the very same cable, except in a way for which it was not designed (unicast vs. broadcast) and is ill-suited.

      In theory it is, in practice they've pulled fiber far enough that your local loop is more like a small token ring network than the mass broadcast system it used to be. It's just not worth digging up every driveway and switching all the boxes, it only takes 25 Mbit/s to download a UHD Netflix stream but DOCSIS 3.1 supports up to 10 Gbit/s. It's like saying you should help protect the power grid from brown-outs by brushing your teeth manually instead of using an electric toothbrush, while ignoring the Tesla c

      • I’ve been reading that 2000 homes passed per upstream port is reasonable... That doesn’t sound like a “small token ring network” to me! If it’s only a dozen active cable modems, then you’re definitely right. Otherwise, it limits what people can do with their connection. Just downloading content (like browsing the web or streaming video), sure, no problem. Anything else, well... I foresee that cable companies will probably keep saying that we don’t need it!

  • Aside from my retired parents, I don't even know anybody who pays for cable, everybody Netflixes or Hulus or whatever. I wonder what the number would be if it didn't include people who get basic cable thrown in with the Internet?

    • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

      I had to strong arm them into not giving me basic cable.

      It was $10/month less to take it. I told them they'd have to give me a bigger discount to store their box in my basement, as I'd inevitably lose it and owe money when I moved.

      I don't want to waste TV stand space, and I don't want to waste an HDMI hole on their stupid box that has a terrible remote, terrible TV guide, and terrible lag when interacting.

      They eventually gave me internet alone for the cheaper price.

    • by J053 ( 673094 )

      It's usually the opposite - you have to get "basic digital cable" in order to get Internet service.

      • That's my situation. There is no "no cable" option on the plans from the sole vendor in my area. (I live in a rural area, so there's zero competition.)
    • I'm a cable never.

      You're correct - older folks who don't want to be on the phone for an hour arranging a better deal. The biggest crowd though is the sports fans. Finding (reliable) alternatives is difficult. Cable companies are constantly working exclusive deals to extend this revenue stream. Even purchasing an MLB tv subscription (from the MLB) does not give me access all the regular season games - ridiculous. But the millions cable TV offered them obviously eclipsed the loss of money from fed up mlb
  • by DatbeDank ( 4580343 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2017 @08:40PM (#55685015)

    It's time for Hollywood's free cash cow to dry up. There's absolutely no reason cable TV should cost $100+.

    I remember a time when cable cost $30 a month for about 60-70ish channels. Maybe their overpaid actors and production staff will take a pay cut if they want to survive /sarcasm

    • It's time for Hollywood's free cash cow to dry up. There's absolutely no reason cable TV should cost $100+.

      I remember a time when cable cost $30 a month for about 60-70ish channels. Maybe their overpaid actors and production staff will take a pay cut if they want to survive /sarcasm

      Swap “channels” for “mbps” and you’ll suddenly realize it’s actually just more of the same. You’re paying the same people. You just swapped the product. Give it a few years and you’ll be thinking fondly of what you paid back, well, now.

      Meanwhile, Hollywood is laughing all the way to the bank. Though the indie scene has been exploding in popularity, Hollywood itself has still been producing roughly the same number of feature length films each year for the last

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Meh, if you want cheap crap there's now a zillion channels on YouTube for free. A "full season" of something like GoT, Westworld, American Gods, Legion, Stranger Things, The Handmaid's Tale, Vikings etc. is usually around 10 hours of actual show, divide by production cost and it's going to be pretty expensive per minute. But to me it'd be a little bit like comparing a fine restaurant to meal prices at McDonald's, people have different tastes though. I think I'd still want some "premium" content, maybe even

    • It's time for Hollywood's free cash cow to dry up. There's absolutely no reason cable TV should cost $100+.

      I remember a time when cable cost $30 a month for about 60-70ish channels. Maybe their overpaid actors and production staff will take a pay cut if they want to survive /sarcasm

      What do you mean you "remember a time"? My package deal right now runs about $100/month for 100Mb internet, home phone with unlimited long distance calling, and cable TV with over 400 channels. That's essentially paying around $33/month for over 400 HD channels, including a DVR. I remember a time when just the long distance bill was $30 a month.

      Yes, that package is offered at an introductory price that's good for a year (normal price is around $130), but after a year I'll simply pressure my current provi

    • I think it's upper management taking the lion's share of the money as they do everywhere.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have one way to get internet (aside from dialup or sat). Here's what happens if I "cut the cord". My bill goes from $70 for cable+internet, to $70 for internet.

  • by crow ( 16139 ) on Tuesday December 05, 2017 @08:50PM (#55685069) Homepage Journal

    What we (as consumers) really need is compulsory licensing for video. Let the various streaming services compete based on their new material, but require that after some time (say three years from the the first streaming or ten years if it was never streamed), all video must be licensed for streaming on a per-minute basis. I might set the rate at $10/month divided by the average number of hours a typical household streams, with the rate decreasing based on the age of the video.

    So say the average household streams 100 hours/month, so the base rate is $0.10/hour (measured in full minutes). A Netflix original show would be available at that rate on Amazon after three years. Every year the rate would drop by $0.002/hour, so five years later it's $0.09/hour.

    Consumers would be able to subscribe to only one service and have access to every video ever made, excluding new releases. You might choose to subscribe to a premium service with awesome new shows, or you might choose to subscribe to a discount service that only has older shows. You might subscribe to a service where you prepay for a number of hours of TV instead of an all-you-can-watch model.

  • With no net neutrality, the balance of power has shifted. I'm going to guess the trend the slows down as OTT services have to pay a big premium to deliver content.

  • No one will be "cutting the cord" since the same cord that provides paid TV also provides the internet required for the alternative paid TV. Media/Internet providers will adjust accordingly and no one will be saving any money.

  • Getting rid of cable TV is pretty much going to become a national pasttime. Things like sports have been shooting themselves in the face and they are one of the few reasons to even have cable for some people.
  • The term does not make sense anymore when you are just diverting your money to streaming subscriptions, and you need a bunch of those to get the shows you want.
    And now they are starting to bundle streaming subscriptions with your internet connection or cell phone plan.

    The good part right now is that I can still choose not to get Netflix, HBO etc with my internet connection, and I can choose to only have 1 or no subscription to any streaming service.

    Since I am not really into TV series or movies at the momen

  • by zaax ( 637433 )
    About time Google or Netfix brought the Cell towers, as if 5G is as fast as predicted it will mean Telecos and cable cos have lost the lot.
  • One generations cable bill is another generations unlimited smartphone bill. This isn't about cost. It's about priorities.

    And as online streaming services continue to fracture content and offer exclusive content, I have a feeling consumers are going to be shelling out essentially a cable bills worth of money to get what they want. The laughable irony here is watching the cable-cutting generation pay for 400,000 channels of streaming shit they'll never watch in order to get the 100 channels they want, wh

  • If I could only get CBC over the air on my HDTV antenna, which receives higher quality signals (1080p) than my cable provider (1080i), I would cancel my cable entirely.

    98 percent of the channels could disappear, because it turns out most of the ones I want are already over the air.

  • Where are the stats? I'm willing to bet way less than 15% of the population had cable in the US in the mid 1980s. We all should cut the cord, it's crap. The problem is the net neutrality rules they are quickly getting in their favor so that even after you cut the cord, they still have you where they want you.

  • Before 2030. They are well on their way NOW. FU Spectrum!
  • ...the future looks like siloed streaming services. Channel-surfing looks a lot better when the alternative is 15-20 streaming services (offering exclusive content that the producer refuses to offer elsewhere), each costing $10-20/month.

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