Study: Young People Lead The Way When It Comes To Cord Cutting

Cord cutting: it’s real. That’s what a new SNL Kagan study suggests, and you have to figure that TV executives are freaking out. The numbers: 119,000 people “cut the cord” (read: dropped their cable or satellite TV) in the third quarter of this year. Meanwhile, in the third quarter of 2009, 360,000 people added cable or satellite TV service. Bottom line is, it would certainly appear that people, led by you guys, the tech élite, are walking away from TV and walking toward online services like Hulu and Netflix.

Those numbers represent the biggest decline in TV subscription in 30 years.

What gives?

Well, it would certainly appear that as online services (Hulu, Netflix, etc.) have matured, people, particularly young people, have decided they really could do without the $100+ monthly TV bill. Sarah Palin’s new reality show is neat and all, but I’m not sure it’s worth that much money per month.

This is, after all, the age of austerity. Gotta tighten the belts and all that.

What’s probably most interesting is how the likes of Hulu are now trying to downplay their success, arguing to the TV companies, without whose content Hulu would be useless, that they’re not in competition with each other.

A sort of, “No, please, TV companies, try to understand. Just because people are no longer paying for Comcast cable each month and instead paying $10 for our service that doesn’t mean we’re competing against each other.”

It’s a hard sell, yes, particularly as, for example, Hulu’s revenues have more than double in the past year.

Where’s all that money coming from, Hulu, all those subscribers your not luring away?

Something to remember: bandwidth isn’t free. If Comcast sees that people are dropping its TV service and yet are sucking down gigabytes upon gigabytes of data per month, don’t think it’s not considering charging more for Internet service, or introducing a tiered pricing structure.

Someone’s gotta pay for all that bandwidth, right?