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30+ Revealing Cord Cutting (Streaming vs. Cable TV) Statistics & Trends (2022)

Last updated: 1 month ago
7 min read

Last year, more than 6 million Americans cut the cord out for numerous reasons.

In contrast, video streaming services are on the rise. Will this cutting cord trend continue in favor of streaming?

Learn interesting cord cutting facts & stats about:

  • How many people still have a cable TV subscription
  • How many people have already cut the cord
  • What is the main reason for cutting the cord

And other fascinating information on cutting cord trends.

TV remote watching

Cord Cutting Statistics (2022)

Cord Cutting Statistics

  • 74.11 million Americans still use traditional pay-TV in 2022.
  • Cable TV still represents around 39% of the market share, with streaming having 26% share (as of Q2 2021)
  • Each year, around 6 million Americans decide to cut the cord, with 50.2 million Americans already cutting the cord.
  • Traditional pay TV providers have lost 825,000 subscribers in Q1 2022 alone.
  • Average American spends 3 hours per day watching TV in 2022, with men having longer screen time than women.
  • Young adults between 18-29 are cutting the cord the most.
  • US household pays $116 on average for cable TV.

How many people have cable? / Cable TV subscriber numbers

Approximately 40,485,721 people in the US have cable as of Q1 2022.

Around 26,222,000 Americans use other traditional TV services like satellite, whereas 7,408,245 are subscribed to IPTV services.

  • That makes a total of 74,115,966 pay-TV subscribers in the US.
Total pay-TV users in the US74.11 million
Cable TV users in the US40.48 million
Satellite users in the US26.22 million
IPTV users in the US7.41 million
(LRG)

60% of American household was still using traditional pay-TV in 2021.

60% of American households still uses pay-TV

In 2010, 91% (or 105 million) of households in the US used traditional pay TV.

It’s expected to drop down to 50% by 2026.

(Digital TV News)

The number of US pay-TV subscribers, based on platform.

Pay-TV platformNumber of subs
in 2010
in 2021in 2022in 2027 (estimated)
Satellite33.35 million19.77 million18.10 million14.63 million
IPTV6.98 million6.98 million6.03 million4.39 million
Analog cable19.50 million///
Digital cable45 million45.77 million44.09 million41.2 million
(Digital TV News)

How many subscribers have cable services lost?

50.2 million Americans have already cut the cord.

More than 50.2 million Americans have cut the cord

That’s up from 50.2 million in 2021.

YearUS users who cut the cord
202255.1 million
202150.2 million
202045 million
201939.3 million
201833 million
201724.9 million
(eMarketer)

Pay-TV uses are expected to drop from around 100 million before 2014 to 72.7 million by 2023.

Number of pay-TV users
before 2014
Number of pay-TV users
by 2023
100 million72.7 million
(Axios)

On the other hand, non-pay TV users will increase from around 20 million before 2014 to 56.1 million by 2023.

Number of non-pay TV users
before 2014
Number of non-pay TV users
by 2023
20 million56.1 million
(Axios)

76% of US adults watched cable or satellite TV in 2015, whereas 24% didn’t.

In 2021, the percentage of cable and satellite subscriptions dropped to 56%, with 44% either not watching TV or using other sources.

Cable or satellite usersNon-pay TV users
201576%24%
202156%44%
(PRC)

Out of those who currently don’t have a pay-TV subscription, 61% had it sometime in the past, whereas 39% were never subscribed.

(PRC)

How many subscribers overall have cable services lost over the last years?

From 2019 to 2021, the US cable lost 6 million pay-TV subscribers each year.

US cable companies are losing 6 million users each year

It’s estimated that by 2027, 12 million additional people will unsubscribe from traditional pay TV services.

(Digital TV News)

Popular US cable TV providers’ subscriber numbers

COMCAST

YearNumber of subscribersDifference
Q1 202217.66 million-4.8%
Q3 202118.55 million-2.11%
Q2 202118.95 million-2.07%
Q1 202119.35 million-2.76%
Q1 202019.9 million-6.35%
Q4 201921.25 million-1.8%
Q2 201921.64 million-2.17%
Q2 201822.12 million-1.73%
Q2 201722.51 million+0.49%
Q1 201622.4 million+0.13%
Q1 201522.37 million+1.22%
Q1 201422.1 million
(CMCSA)

VERIZON

YearNumber of subscribersDifference
Q1 20223.49 million-2.24%
Q4 20213.57 million-1.92%
Q3 20213.64 million-1.88%
Q2 20213.71 million-1.59%
Q1 20213.77 million-2.08%
Q4 20203.85 million-2.03%
Q3 20203.93 million-1.50%
Q2 20203.99 million-1.96%
Q1 20204.07 million-1.93%
Q4 20194.15 million-7.78%
Q4 20184.5 million
(Digital News TV 2) (Verizon)

CHARTER

YearNumber of subscribersDifference
Q1 202215.72 million-0.69%
Q4 202115.83 million-1.43%
Q4 202016.06 million+2.29%
Q3 202015.7 million+0.32%
Q2 202015.65 million+0.64%
Q1 202015.55 million-0.32%
Q4 201915.6 million-0.63%
Q3 201915.7 million-0.63%
Q2 201915.8 million-0.94%
Q1 201915.95 million-0.93%
Q4 201816.1 million
(LRG) (Fierce Video)

DIRECTV

YearNumber of subscribersDifference
Q1 202214.3 million-7.14%
Q2 202115.4 million-2.53%
Q4 202015.8 million-18.85%
Q4 201919.47 million-9.73%
Q2 201921.57 million-3.53%
Q1 201922.36 million-11.16%
Q3 201825.17 million
(LRG) (Fierce Video 2) (Fierce Video 3) (Fierce Video 4) (Light Reading)

DISH TV

YearNumber of subscribersDifference
Q1 20227.99 million-2.8%
Q4 20218.22 million-2.37%
Q3 20218.42 million-1.52%
Q2 20218.55 million-1.61%
Q1 20218.69 million-1.47%
Q4 20208.82 million-1.56%
Q3 20208.96 million-0.66%
Q2 20209.02 million+0.11%
Q1 20209.01 million-4.04%
Q4 20199.39 million-1.05%
Q3 20199.49 million-0.73%
Q2 20199.56 million+2.03%
Q1 20199.37 million
(LRG) (Hollywood Reporter) (Fierce Video 5) (Dish)

How many subscribers did cable services lose last quarter?

Most popular US cable providers lost 825,000 pay-TV subscribers in Q1 2022.

In Q1 2021, top cable providers lost 780,000 subscribers.

(LRG)

What percent of people have cut the cord?

Around 27% of Americans have cut the cord by 2021.

17% of Americans never used pay-TV services.

(PRC)

Around 72.86 million households are estimated to be pay-TV-free by 2027.

In 2010, only 11.34 million households didn’t have a pay-TV subscription.

(Digital TV News)

How much money does cutting the cord really save?

Depending on your plan, you can save up to $70 by cutting away the TV bundle.

(CNET)

Of course, the potential savings decrease with the number of streaming service subscriptions. Since streaming platforms provide their own original content, you’re likely to pay for more than one service.

Also, streaming services are getting pricier.

(Current)

At the end of the day, it’s all about having control over what content to watch and when, not necessarily about saving money.

(Wired)

How many people have cable in Canada?

7.9 million Canadians were subscribed to pay-TV in 2021.

More than half of Canadians still use pay-TV

That represents 51.3% of households.

That’s down from 8.3 million in 2020 (or 55.3% of households), and 8.7 million in 2019 (or 59% of households).

It’s estimated that by the end of 2022, there will remain 7.7 million pay-TV users (or 48.9% of households) in Canada.

YearCanadians with pay-TVPercentage of households
20227.7 million (estimation)48.9%
20217.9 million51.3%
20208.3 million55.3%
20198.7 million59%
(eMarketer 2)

How many people are cord-cutting in Canada?

Around 305,000 Canadians cut the cord in 2021.

YearCanadians cutting the cord that year
2022316,000 (estimated)
2021305,000
2020336,000
(CRG)

520,000 Canadians already cut the cord by 2020 or were never even subscribed.

By 2019, 420,000 Canadians cut the cord or were never subscribed.

YearCanadians that cut the cord
or were never subscribed
2020520,000
2019420,000
2018400,000
2017351,000
2016366,000
2015333,000
2014251,000
2013163,000
2012193,000
(Statista)

Average amount of time an American spends watching TV?

Average American adult spends 3 hours per day watching TV in 2022.

An average American spends 3 hours per day watching TV

(Statista 2)

Children are also watching TV for 3 hours per day on average.

The highest number of hours spent watching TV was 7 hours per day, according to 2020 data.

UK watchers spent 5 hours and 40 minutes watching TV on average.

The survey was conducted during coronavirus lockdowns, which could affect screen time.

(ICSID)

Find out how many people watch Anime.

In 2021, an average American spent 2.86 hours per day watching TV on average.

The elder demographic (above 65 years) spent the most time watching TV, averaging 4.5 hours per day.

Age groupAverage screen time
25-342h 9min
35-442h 5min
45-542h 33min
55-643h 19min
65+4h 30min
(BLS)

Men spend more time watching TV than women, averaging 2.7 hours on weekdays, and 3.83 hours on weekends.

On the other hand, women spend 2.44 hours on weekdays and 3.29 hours on weekends.

GenderWeekdays screen timeWeekends screen time
Male2h 42min3h 49min
Female2h 26min3h 17min
(BLS)

West Virginians spend 3.82 hours in front of the TV per day, which is the most in the US.

US stateAverage screen time
West Virginia3h 49min
Alabama3h 34min
Arkansas3h 22min
Mississippi3h 22min
Rhode Island3h 19min
Louisiana3h 15min
Nevada3h 4min
Delaware3h 1min
Kentucky3h 1min
Missouri3h 1min
(US News)

Alaskans spend the least time watching TV, averaging 1.85 hours per day.

US stateAverage screen time
Alaska1h 51min
Utah1h 58min
Washington2h 18min
Idaho2h 19min
Minnesota2h 21min
New Mexico2h 22min
California2h 27min
Oregon2h 30min
Montana2h 31min
Massachusetts2h 31min
(US News)

Do more people have Netflix or cable?

As of Q1 2022, Netflix has 74.58 million users in US and Canada, whereas there are 74.11 million cable TV users in the US alone.

There're still more pay-TV users than video streamers in the US

But the trend is showing that in a couple of years, pay-TV will be less common than video streaming.

US & Canada Netflix usersUS cable TV
subscribers
74.58 million74.11 million
(Statista 3) (LRG)

Netflix has:

  • 73.73 million users in Europe
  • 39.61 million users in Latin America
  • 33.72 million users in the Asia Pacific

(Statista 3)

An average person who only uses Netflix has spared himself 58 hours of watching ads.

An hour on a typical network channel consists of 18 minutes of advertisement.

(HotDog)

39% of TV watchers were still using cable in Q2 2021.

Followed by streaming (26%). Broadcasting is third at 25%, with the remaining 9% from other sources.

Cable TV share39%
Streaming share26%
Broadcasting share25%
Other sources9%
(Nielsen)
Q2 2021 streaming share
by services
Percentage
Netflix6%
YouTube TV6%
Hulu3%
Prime Video2%
Disney+1%
Other8%
(Nielsen)
Q1 2022 streaming share
by services
Percentage
Netflix6.4%
YouTube TV5.7%
Hulu3%
Prime Video2.3%
Disney+1.7%
Other9.5%
(Netflix Report 2022)

More than 83% of US households pay for at least one streaming service in 2022.

In 2020, the percentage was 55%. In 2018, it was 43%, which is up from 20% in 2015.

At least 67% of households are subscribed to Netflix. In 33% of cases, one Netflix subscription is used in more than one household.

In 2020, 78% of households were subscribed to Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu. That’s up from 69% in 2018 and 52% in 2015.

(Deadline) (LRG 2)

Cord-cutting demographics: Who’s cutting the cord the most? What age groups are using alternatives like streaming?

Going from 65% in 2015 to 34% in 2021, young adults aged 18-29 are cutting the cord the most.

Followed by the 30-49 age group, which reduced their pay-TV subscription numbers by 27%.

Age group20152021
18-2965%34%
30-4973%46%
50-6480%66%
65+86%81%
Average US adults76%56%
(PRC)

Young US adults aged 18-29 are the likeliest to use video streaming services.

61% of them have never subscribed to pay-TV services. On the other hand, 91% of them claim they find all the content they like online.

Ages 18-29Ages 30-49Ages 50+
Never subscribed61%30%27%
Access content
online
91%72%52%
Think cable TV
too expensive
57%72%77%
Aren’t watching TV53%47%33%
(PRC)

Most common reasons why people cut the cable?

More than 31% of people’s main reason to cut the cord is price.

That is followed by not using the cable TV enough to justify the price at 8.03%.

Reasons to cut cordHow many people agree
Cable too expensive31.02%
Not watching enough
to justify price
8.03%
Unsatisfaction with
the service
6.53%
Too difficult to use5.79%
Stopped watching
live news
5.04%
Fewer ads
on streaming
4.16%
Children persuaded
to cancel
3.90%
Parents persuaded
to cancel
3.87%
Stopped watching
live entertainment
3.81%
Stopped watching
political content
3.71%
Moved to location
without cable access
3.37%
Not wanting to
have a contract
2.73%
Spouse/partner
persuaded to cancel
2.13%
Stopped watching
live sports
1.80%
Other14.11%
(Cable TV)

With 19.50%, the main reason against cutting the cord is watching live sports.

Reasons against
cutting the cord
How many people agree
Watching live sports19.50%
Watching live
entertainment
11.66%
Too slow internet
for streaming
10.09%
Watching live news9.53%
Multiple streaming
services too expensive
8.02%
Provider forcing to
sub to cable
7.10%
Enjoy having
DVR access
6.98%
Getting cable
for free
6.71%
Too much equipment
to buy for streaming
6.63%
Cable is easier to use6.43%
Watching
political content
2.37%
Other4.97%
(Cable TV)

How much does an average American household pay for cable?

American household spends $116 on average for cable TV per month.

On average, Americans pay $116 per month for cable TV

That’s $1,392 per year (or $1,141 when averaging all US households).

On average, paying for pay-TV/internet bundles represents 2% of total consumer yearly income.

The total US market spends $147 billion per year on pay-TV subscriptions.

(Business Wire)

The cost for pay-TV in the US ranges from $45 to $130, depending on the provider. The average price is $64.

On the other hand, US consumers spend $47 on average for video streaming services (as of December 2020).

(ICSID)

Pay-TV had the highest revenue of $101 billion in 2014.

However, it’s estimated that between 2014 and 2027, the revenue will drop to $53 billion, which is $48 billion less.

71% of Americans who aren’t using pay TV claim they find all the content they like online.

69% claim cable and satellite TV are too expensive, whereas 45% simply don’t watch TV.

(PRC)

Sources: LRG, LRG 2, Digital TV News, Digital TV News 2, Axios, PRC, eMarketer, eMarketer 2, CNET, Current, Wired, CRG, Statista, Statista 2, Statista 3, ICSID, BLS, BLS 2, US News, HotDog, Nielsen, Netflix Report 2022, Deadline, Cable TV, Business Wire, CMCSA, Verizon, Fierce Video, Fierce Video 2, Fierce Video 3, Fierce Video 4, Fierce Video 5, Light Reading, Hollywood Reporter, Dish

Conclusion

These were the latest cord-cutting statistics. Despite worldwide lockdowns that forced people to stay at home, cable TV services are slowly but steadily losing subscribers.

The cord-cutters either don’t have time to watch TV or find all the video content they want on different streaming services.

Have you cut the cord as well or planning to? Have you saved money by cutting the cord? What alternative did you find?

Please let us know down in the comments.

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