Cord cutting eased up as 2015 ended
March 14, 2016
Media buyers and planners, along with anyone who has anything to do with television, remain fascinated by the quarterly pay TV subscription numbers that gauge the current status of cord cutting.
The fourth quarter 2015 verdict: It’s still happening. But perhaps in smaller numbers.
A new report issued Monday by SNL Kagan, a financial intelligence firm with a focus on media, finds that there was a slight resurgence in cable subscriptions at the end of last year, as well as steady satellite subs.
SNL Kagan says this suggests, “a share shift rather than a retreat from cord cutting,” but nonetheless acknowledges that the cutting seemed to stabilize.
Total customers dropped by just 15,000 during the three-month period ending Dec. 31, even with the prior year’s losses.
However, full 2015 was rough. Cable, satellite and telco providers lost more than 1 million video customers last year, four times the number lost in 2014.
It marked the third straight annual drop for the industry.
That included a loss of 599,000 for cable, which was actually its first sub-million drop in seven years and its best yearly loss since 2007.
Satellite took a much bigger hit. It lost 478,000 subscribers in 2015, compared to a scant 39,000 the prior year.
Telco, meanwhile, was about even, though that may change this year, with AT&T shifting its focus from U-verse to the recently acquired DirecTV.
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