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Consumer Tech How-To: Attracting Cord Cutters & Cord Nevers

TV is changing.

TV is changing. 

The old models of viewership, centered around cable and satellite subscription packages, are giving way to a multitude of custom viewing options. We’re all familiar with the phenomenon of cord cutting. In fact, many of us have cut cable and/or satellite from our monthly budgets. As a result, in 2018 alone, the five largest pay-TV providers witnessed a 4.2 percent decrease in subscribers, totaling around 3.2 million lost customers.

But the change in TV goes deeper than just cord cutting. For adults aged 18-29, TV means streaming. According to a 2017 Pew Research study, 61 percent in this age group said they use online streaming services as their primary source of TV. 

These cord nevers, along with cord cutters, pose a new challenge to the consumer electronics space, as our livelihood depends on helping consumers get the entertainment they want, where and when they want it. So, if cord cutters and cord nevers are redefining TV away from traditional satellite and cable plans, how do we engage them on their own terms?

What do they want?

Obviously, cord cutters and cord nevers are after something that cable and satellite don’t give them. One attraction for cord cutters is the money they save by cutting the cable or satellite bill out of their monthly budget. With an average monthly bill of $107, according to Leichtman Research Group, money is no small motivation. 

But it’s not the only motivation either. These groups of people are spending some money on home entertainment—the astronomical rise of pay streaming services is testament to that. And digital antennas remain a vital CE category, increasing steadily year over year.

See also: TiVo Targets Cord Cutters With Bolt OTA

So, what’s the difference between traditional pay-TV and its alternatives? Beyond the money saved, there’s the programming itself. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime offer compelling original offerings that have taken over as the primary attraction of those services. And for live telecasts, off-air programming is still the king. In fact, nine of the top 10 telecasts of 2018 were available for free on off-air TV.

How can you attract them?

It turns out that the question comes down primarily to awareness. Dig deeper into the cord cutters and cord nevers and you will see there’s a generational difference at play: 84 percent of adults 45 and older subscribed to pay-TV in 2018 vs. only 70 percent aged 18-44, according to Leichtman Research Group. 

Adoption of streaming by this younger group has gone hand in hand with awareness — when consumers understand it, they know they want it. For CE, this means that we should never assume that consumers are aware or understand our tech, no matter its vintage. Off-air TV has been around for decades, but have you watched a 4K broadcast using a digital antenna lately? You won’t find a better TV experience in any medium.

As the maker of RCA and Terk antennas, Voxx Accessories has been at the forefront of spreading the word about all the great TV you can get for free with the right antenna. Certainly, we’ve made plenty of converts, but we believe our biggest conversions are yet to come.

See also: 8K Association Now Accepting New Membership Applications