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Cord Cutting in the US Has Nearly Tripled Since 2013

A new report shows that the number of people who only watch TV through streaming services increased from around 5 million households to 14 million.
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The number of Americans choosing to ditch cable in favor of streaming has nearly tripled in the last five years according to a new report from the Video Advertising Bureau, an advocacy group that counts major cable networks among its membership.

Though cord cutters still only make up 11 percent of US households, the number of steaming-only households increased from just over 5 million in 2013 to 14.1 million in 2017 according to the report. Of these households, the majority have at least two different streaming services, with 32 percent having three or more services.

If you’re a cord cutter yourself (or a “cord never,” the industry term for people who have never subscribed to cable or satellite TV) you might be surprised that the number of people still forking over monthly dues to Big Cable is so high. Keep in mind, though, that the report also found the vast majority of cable subscribers subscribe to a streaming service as well. Three-quarters of all homes in America have some combination of over-the-air service, cable, and streaming.

The report predicts that this trend is going to continue, with more people moving away from traditional cable models and towards an à la carte entertainment set up. But traditional media is starting to get savvier by offering what the industry calls a “multichannel video programming distributor” or MVPD—digital subscriptions to channel-specific content, like HBO Go or CBS All Access (the latter streamed Star Trek: Discovery exclusively in the US while it was on Netflix in other regions).

These steps might help ease the blow as advertisers continue to shift away from spending on TV, and more viewers opt out of the clutches of Big Cable.

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