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Cord Cutting & Second-Screen Activity Continue To Rise: CTA

TV-viewing habits continue to change.

More consumers are dropping traditional pay-TV subscriptions, and half of online consumers using such devices as smartphones and tablets to augment what they see on TV, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) found in a consumer survey.

Eleven percent of the online consumers surveyed said they canceled their cable-, satellite-, or telco-delivered pay-TV service in the past year. Of those, 27 percent cited alternatives available at a lower cost.

In addition, 21 percent of consumers say they haven’t had a subscription to a traditional pay-TV provider for more than a year, and 32 percent of them said they did not watch enough TV programming to justify subscription costs.

While pay-TV watching is down, more consumers are getting video content through paid video-streaming services, rising to 46 percent from a year-ago 39 percent, CTA found.

Nonetheless, traditional pay-TV providers remain the most-used resource for consuming content for 61 percent of the online population.

Millennial movement: Cord cutting and second-screen usage are higher among millennials than in any other age group.

A total of 88 percent of millennials (ages 18 to 34) engage in second-screen behaviors when watching TV, CTA found. Seventy-one percent engage with social media while watching video content. That’s 40 percentage points higher than adults 35 and older. Also, 70 percent of millennials watch content on another device during TV commercials, a rate that is 32 percentage points higher than adults 35 and older.

All told, half of online Americans use devices such as phones and tablets to augment first-screen content to access information about the content they’re viewing. Forty-eight percent use a second screen to watch content on other devices during commercials, and 43 percent follow social media discussions either related or unrelated to the programming.

Streamed content: The survey also found that while TVs remains the most-preferred device for viewing most video content, screens on computers, tablets and smartphones are preferred collectively for watching streamed content by 57 percent of consumers, or 13 percentage points higher than for TVs. For most types of video content, millennials are more likely to watch from non-traditional devices (42 percent) compared with adults 35 and older (22 percent).
Separately, a report by Ampere Analysis finds cord cutting rising throughout the words. See this report in TV Technology.