Are Cord-Nevers the Tipping Point?

My wife and I cut the cord over 10 years ago, canceling our cable subscription and even getting rid of our television.  At the time, this was a radical personal decision to reclaim some of our leisure time for other purposes and reduce our monthly expenses.  Today, 15% of Americans have cut the cord – dropping their paid cable and television services in favor of content streaming options such as Hulu and Netflix.

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Content consumption among younger generations is evolving even more rapidly.  “Cord- nevers” now represent about 9% of American adults. They have never subscribed to TV channels offered by a cable, satellite or telecommunications provider.

Cord-cutters and cord-nevers represent the arrival of a new media landscape.  The old, traditional content ecosystems are diminishing, replaced by a diverse, on-demand, multi-device landscape of media offerings.  The change in interactive ad spending testifies to the multi channel approach marketers must take to reach someone like myself.  According to an IAB/PwC report, mobile advertising grew 76% from 2013 to 2014.  Even more important for marketers, is that interactive marketing spend is set to outpace television spend in 2016, with social media spend posting an 18% CAGR from 2014 – 2019.

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As new media platforms emerge, they present an opportunity for marketers to deliver messages to highly targeted audiences.  The consumer chooses what they want to watch, when they want to watch, and on what device.  Last night, my wife and I streamed a few clips on YouTube of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on our tablet.  Each clip was preceded by the same Jim Beam commercial.  Five clips. Five strong brand interactions.  We were a highly engaged and captivated audience.  Emerging media allows for one-to-one marketing on a whole new level.

Over the next few weeks I will explore the intersection of consumers, companies, content, technology and media channels in this ever changing interactive space.  We’ll take a look at new brand experiences, mobile marketing, the Internet of Things(Iot), the power of content, and other ways consumer behavior is redefining the customer journey and media.


3 thoughts on “Are Cord-Nevers the Tipping Point?

  1. This was very enlightening. I never knew there was a name for dropping subscribed cable services. I too have dropped services due to wanting to watch only Korean programming to enhance my learning of the language, mannerisms and culture. It seems though, only a small percentage of Americans are doing without cable and/or satellite television services. One major reason why more people should do without the services is the money that can be saved in paying for services on a monthly basis. With the power of the internet and so many companies offering streaming services online for a minimal monthly charge and/or free, it makes financial sense. From a marketng standpoint, with more individuals turning to the internet for entertainment purposes, reaching these individuals through the services they use online, will help with reaching a wider target market.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very insightful! My husband and I are cord-cutters. Right before reading your post and replying, we were on Netflix watching House of Cards. Even when we had cable, we still flocked to our phones and tablets to stream our favorite shows – it was simply more convenient. Your mention of interactive marketing outpacing traditional TV advertising made me think of how marketers are combining channels to reach consumers in engaging ways. For example, “Twitter TV.” In recent years, consumers have engaged heavily in Twitter conversations about live TV. As many as “19 million unique people in the U.S. composed 263 million Tweets about live TV in Q2 2013 alone, a 24 percent year-over-year increase in authors and a 38 percent increase in Tweet volume,” according to Nielsen. It’ll be interesting to see what other integration points marketers come up with that combine traditional and interactive media in order to meet the needs of consumers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahhh, I’ll never forget the liberating cord-cutting experience. This was back when I was what seemed as one of the select few people that decided to cut off cable services! I went to turn on cable services after moving in with my husband who had never purchased cable, and he replied with “cable seems like a waste of time and money”. Up until that point, I had never thought for one minute about not having cable. So, I decided to subscribe to Netflix, order an Apple TV, and have never looked back. My friends and family looked at me like I was out-of-my-mind, until they realized how much money I would be saving!

    I actually just found that there is a website ( that has been created for people like you and I (who knew?!). The website has the latest news about streaming, such as what sites are streaming what, news about NFL streaming rights, the latest Netflix releases, and even tips on how to make cutting the cord easier!

    From a marketers point of view, I can easily see the opportunity that lies within this trend. Not only is there opportunity to send messages to highly targeted audiences, but it is also able to be greatly better measured. You know we love our real-time data that allows us to easily adjust campaigns, if needed.


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