April 18, 2011 01:30 ET

30% of Existing US Pay TV Households at Risk of Future Video Cord Cutting, Says In-Stat

SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwire - Apr 18, 2011) - Video cord cutting refers to the replacement of pay TV services. Video cord shaving refers to the elimination of premium channels, or the migration to cheaper pay TV service packages. Total US pay TV subscribers remained flat, growing by only some 148,000 during 2010, a 0.15% annual growth rate, indicating no current trend toward video cord cutting/shaving, according to In-Stat (

"A substantial portion of Pay TV subscribers, however, exhibit similar characteristics to video cord cutting households," says Keith Nissen, Principal Analyst. "It is important to track these 'at risk' subscribers, rather than the pay TV subscriber base as a whole. In general, our new data confirms that adoption of online video is growing. But, except for Netflix, the frequency of use is not expanding. This is largely because consumers are going to online portals to view specific TV and movie content. The frequency of viewing online video will probably not increase until 'must-see' original online programming takes hold."

Updated research found the following:

  • Cable operators lost 2.5 million subscribers, but satellite and telco operators made up the difference.
  • Neither age, nor household income appear to impact pay TV video cord cutting.
  • More households added premium channels during 2010 than dropped premium channels.
  • Cable sports is valued significantly less than on-demand access to TV content or premium TV channels; more sports will not protect against cord cutting.

The 1Q11 US Digital Entertainment Database (#IN1104890CM) delivers a consolidated view of the US digital entertainment market, covering devices, services, content, consumer behavior metrics, and forecasts. Most importantly, it answers the question: Who will be viewing what on which devices? In addition, the US Digital Entertainment Database is an invaluable trusted resource for market statistics and analysis. It connects the dots in ways no other research report can. This quarterly update also features the following updates:

  • Device shipments and BB/pay TV subscriber actuals for 2010.
  • Device/subscriber installed base forecasts were extended through 2015.
  • Changes in consumer behavior metrics during 2010, such as viewing Internet TV or streaming online video, are presented.
  • The tracking of online video purchases and online video rentals has been added.

About In-Stat

In-Stat's market intelligence combines technical, market and end-user research and database models to analyze the Mobile Internet and Digital Entertainment ecosystems. Our insights are derived from a deep understanding of technology impacts, nearly 30 years of history in research and consulting, and direct relationships with leading players in each of our core markets. In-Stat provides its research through reports, annual subscriptions, consulting and advisory services to inform critical decisions.

Contact Information

  • Contact:

    Keith Nissen
    Principal Analyst
    Email: Email Contact
    Phone: (480) 483-4465

    Rick Vogelei
    Marketing Manager
    Email: Email Contact
    Phone: (480) 483-4476