Future of TV Report Forecasts Accelerated Cord-Cutting


According to a new study, 44 percent of Americans who subscribe to cable TV plan to scale back or cut the cord entirely this year.

The fourth Future of TV report, commissioned by The Trade Desk and conducted by YouGov, surveyed more than 4,000 adults about their TV watching habits. Of those, 47 percent were already cordless. That percentage was higher among those 18 to 34 (60 percent) and 35 to 54 (53 percent).

The report found that cord-cutting accelerated as live sports were impacted in the early days of the pandemic and the need for on-demand content grew. Only 19 percent of TV viewers are returning to their pre-pandemic sports viewing habits, the survey found. Meanwhile, 44 percent of those who watch sports are choosing a nonlinear platform for that coverage. That number rises to 65 percent among sports viewers aged 18 to 34.

“We are entering a new TV normal, where new streaming viewing models sit side by side with traditional TV formats,” said Tim Sims, chief revenue officer at The Trade Desk. “From an advertiser’s perspective, this shift presents a tremendous opportunity. They can reach those streaming TV viewers with more precision and accuracy than ever because they can apply data to those TV campaigns in a way that’s not possible with linear. So, it provides incremental reach that’s an important element of a comprehensive TV ad campaign.”

Consumers are becoming more receptive to advertising on their digital platforms, with 44 percent saying that watch streaming content with ads, as compared with 33 percent who are watching ad-free content. The survey also indicated that $30 is the maximum amount a majority of viewers (64 percent) want to spend a month on streaming platforms.