Dec 23, 2015

Cool Story, Bro

Originally published at on December 18, 2015

Tis the season once again for all the research firms to release their studies wherein they interview a small sampling of average Americans and conclude that cord cutting, cord shaving, cord nevering and all other manner of cord severance are about to explode. 

Because, you know, that’s what the 125 people in the survey said when prompted about it.
The thing is, cord cutting is a lot like dieting. People think they should do it, talk a lot about doing it, but when that juicy 800 channel bundle is in front of you, it’s hard to give it up for some celery sticks.

Especially once you figure out that if you get the celery sticks from the a la carte menu, it’s not really saving you anything over the all-you-can-eat option.

So ignore all the salacious headlines about how 1 in 5 Americans will cut the cord by 2018 or how Millennials are never going subscribe to pay TV. (It’s uncanny the way those 23 year-olds can predict their own futures.)  When the stats come out, those numbers won’t be there (again) and some of the cable MPVDs, long the whipping boys of the industry, are actually predicting full-year subscriber growth.

Things Are Looking Up

While their reputation for tone deafness was not undeserved, most of the major MVPDs seem to be getting their acts together and doing something to improve the customer experience. Plus, as we’ve noted previously, the introduction of Nielsen’s TAM system next month is going to result in the rapid growth of TV Everywhere as the networks’ prior objection, that TVE views went uncounted, disappears and everyone in the ecosystem sees the advantage of it.

That’s already happening, as Verizon’s latest version of it’s FIOS Mobile app allows users to watch programs off their DVRs. And mark our words, that’s just the start.

The other side of the story is that (as we’ve also noted) the line between TV and OTT is rapidly disappearing, as the MVPDs are starting to offer Netflix, Hulu and the rest to their broadband customers and so even if all you want is apps and broadband, they’ve still got you safely inside their ecosystem. (If you're paying someone for TV, even if  what you're paying for is an app, that's still pay-TV.)

That means the real cord you’d need to cut is to your broadband, and even the most click-baitish of the studies has yet to suggest that is happening.

For now, anyway.

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