The Big Stick is back. A new study shows that 17% of U.S. TV households now rely on over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts for their TV viewing – up from 15% in 2015 – and another 6% say they only use Internet services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, or YouTube and do not have traditional broadcast or pay TV reception at all, an increase from 4% a year ago.
The study, GfK’s 2016 Ownership and Trend Report from The Home Technology Monitor, found that 25% of TV households now are going without cable and satellite reception.
“The fact that a statistically significant increase in broadcast-only reception occurred over just one year may be further proof that the cord-cutting/cord-never phenomenon is accelerating,” says David Tice, SVP in GfK’s Media & Entertainment practice. “If you include homes that have no TVs at all – about 3% of all households – then less than three quarters (73%) of US homes continue to have pay TV service, with the attendant implications for all stakeholders – not just the pay TV services themselves, but also networks, content providers, and advertisers.”
Not surprisingly, households with a member between 18 and 34 years old are more likely to be opting for alternatives to cable and satellite. Thirty-eight percent said they rely on some kind of alternative TV reception or video source, with 22% of these homes using broadcast-only reception and 13% only watching an Internet service on their TV sets.
Broadcast-only reception is more common in TV households earning under $30,000 per year (26%, versus 17% among all TV homes) and those with Hispanic residents (24%). Households with incomes of $50,000 a year or more post higher levels of satellite subscription – 27%, compared to an average of 21%.
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