Published on July 26th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson


Study: Cord cutting to jump 30% this year, 22% more than 2017

33 million Americans will drop traditional pay TV service in 2018, 22 percent more than was previously estimated, according to the research firm eMarketer.

Overall, 186.7 million US adults will watch pay TV (cable, satellite or telco) in 2018, down 3.8 percent over last year. That’s slightly higher than the 3.4 percent dip in 2017. Satellite providers will have the biggest decline, followed by telco, the company said.

The numbers clearly prove that even as traditional pay-TV providers form partnerships with their streaming service rivals to retain customers, cord-cutting continues to outpace projections. 

“Most of the major traditional TV providers [Charter, Comcast, Dish, etc.] now have some way to integrate with Netflix,” eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Christopher Bendtsen said. “These partnerships are still in the early stages, so we don’t foresee them having a significant impact reducing churn this year. With more pay TV and OTT partnerships expected in the future, combined with other strategies, providers could eventually slow—but not stop—the losses.”

Meanwhile, the streaming platforms are growing at the expense of pay TV losses. In fact, eMarketer has increased its future viewership estimates for YouTube, Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Growth is being fueled by more original programming and demand for multiple services.

“The main factor fueling the growth of on-demand streaming platforms is their original content,” eMarketer principal analyst Paul Verna said. “Consumers increasingly choose services on the strength of the programming they offer, and the platforms are stepping up with billions in spending on premium shows. Another factor driving the acceleration of cord-cutting is the availability of compelling and affordable live TV packages that are delivered via the internet without the need for installation fees or hardware.”

The firm anticipates that cord-cutting will slow down significantly next year, with predicted growth of 18.9% versus 32.8% growth in 2018.

Tags: , , ,

About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as,,,, and He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the AOL, the BBC, Associated Press, and United Press International.

2 Responses to Study: Cord cutting to jump 30% this year, 22% more than 2017

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Back to Top ↑