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State of the Screens

Pay TV’s Pain Point Gets Worse: Cord-Cutting Sped Up in 2016

By March 22, 2018No Comments

1.9m dropped pay TV in 2016. This trend is accelerating both in terms of raw number (1.1m in 2015) and as a percentage of total subscribers (2% in 2016 vs. 1% in 2015).

The good news. Streaming services (Hulu, etc.) added 900k subscribers in 2016.

The bad news. Even with the additional subscriptions from streaming, there were 1m net pay TV subscribers who cut the cord. Also, the average cable bill is $103/month which is well above most streaming packages.

The Trend. Average cable bill ↑ 4% ($103 vs. $99) and total pay TV subscribers ↓ 2% (95m vs. 97m). Cable TV still has inelastic demand, but price increases are starting to drive cord cutting.

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.