Watch Out, Cable Companies: More Avid TV Viewers Planning on Cutting the Cord

Netflix still tops in streaming, but Amazon Prime on the rise, a Morgan Stanley study finds

Last Updated: August 4, 2014 @ 10:58 AM

The more TV viewers watch, the more they plan on cutting the cord in favor of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, according to a new study by Morgan Stanley.

The percentage of pay television subscribers who said they definitely plan to discontinue their service in the next 12 months climbed to 10 percent, a 2 percent gain, in the financial services firm’s most recent study.

Eleven percent of respondents said they probably will cut the cord this year, up from 9 percent in 2013, while 50 percent said they definitely plan to keep their cable and telco subscriptions, a 6 point drop from the previous year.

Also read: Cord Cutting Is Real: 1 Million TV Subscribers Lost to Streaming Services 

To get its results, Morgan Stanley polled  2,501 adults in the United States.

Hit shows such as “Breaking Bad” and “True Detective” have reinvigorated water-cooler programming, but streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and HBO Go are allowing people to access content via mobile devices and computers, making the boob tube just one of many ways to catch the latest episodes.

To that end, the total number of hours of television content consumed each week climbed to nearly 21, up from just over 19 hours last year and 16.7 hours in 2011.  Users reported increases in the amount of television they watched on tablets, computers and portable devices across the board, while the number of hours spent watching it on televisions dipped slightly from 15.7 to 15.5.

The largest percentage of potential cord cutters was the 18 to 29 demographic, which comprised just under 30 percent of those who said they definitely planned to stop their cable, telco or satellite service. Respondents aged 45 to 64 comprised just over 15 percent of people who said they will stick to streaming.

Also read: Time Warner Chief Downplays HBO Go ‘True Detective’ Technical Issues

Tablet owners and Netflix subscribers also made up the bulk of respondents planning to opt for internet-only access to television shows. Among those planning to cut the cord, over 20 percent were tablet owners and nearly 25 percent were Netflix customers.

Netflix and its legion of buzzy shows such as “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black” continues to be the dominant force in online video, but one rival is showing signs of strength. Eighteen percent of respondents said they use Amazon Prime to watch video content, a 10 percent jump from last year. Netflix is the choice of 30 percent of those surveyed, a 5.5 percent point jump from the previous year.

Hulu’s free service, however, lost ground, falling 0.6 percentage points to just over 15 percent. Its subscription service did increase its audience, climbing 4.3 percent to just over 10 percent.