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Study estimates over 1m cord-cutters in 2011

updated 02:15 pm EDT, Wed April 4, 2012

Convergence Consulting estimates 2012 cutters too

Over one million pay TV customers stopped their subscriptions in the US last year, a Convergence Consulting Group research report (PDF) published this month found. The total number was 2.65 million since 2008, as users look to online streaming services such as Netflix. Researchers estimated the 2011 figure at 1.05 million.

The 2012 numbers should be slightly smaller, as content owners reduce online availability and streaming services bump prices for services, the Toronto-based group estimated. Some 930,000 customers are expected to stop paying for traditional cable TV, with the resulting total since 2008 at about 3.5 percent of subscribers.

At the same time, pay TV subscribers will grow by about 185,000 accounts, an increase from the 112,000 additions in 2011, Convergence said. This takes into account cable and satellite services, and those from cable companies such as Verizon's FiOS and AT&T's U-verse offerings. Canadians have less options, and the 222,000 TV subscribers added in 2011 will drop to 180,000 in 2012, according to predictions.

The most commonly cited incentives to leave have been services that fulfill at least some of what TV would have done, such as Hulu or Hulu Plus, iTunes, and Netflix. YouTube and video podcasts have been cited as major influences as their production values and their sheer volume go up.

Cable companies have lately denied that cord-cutting exists and have usually attributed at least some of their subscriber drops from last year to economic conditions. However, they are known to exist, and TV service providers' tendencies to raise prices at least once a year despite economic worries has been criticized as counter-productive. [via Bloomberg]

by MacNN Staff



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