As internet connection speeds increase and technology gets more sophisticated, the public is discovering new ways to consume media. For a good example of this, look at Netflix. Netflix currently accounts for almost 30 percent of downstream internet traffic in the United States. Netflix can be viewed on a computer, phone, tablet, game console, Blu-ray player, Roku and it’s even built into some televisions. Services such as Netflix helped create the idea of cable cord-cutting. That means that more people are cancelling their cable television service in favor of video services the internet has to offer.
I’ve personally cut the cord several months ago. My video consumption consists of Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and a variety of sites that post their programs to the web. My television also scans the airwaves for digital network television channels such as Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS etc. So far, I’ve been happy with the switch and I’m not the only person who has done this. The supposed downside to this internet video revolution is that cable companies will suffer due to the lack of cable subscriptions. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t making up for that loss elsewhere.
Leichtman Research Group conducted a study and found that the 19 largest cable and telephone companies in the United States gained approximately 1.3 million new high speed internet subscribers in the first quarter of 2011. Of the estimated 76.6 million customers with high speed internet access, cable companies account for 42.6 million of them. Cable companies service over 55% of broadband internet subscribers.
So while cable cord-cutting is real, cable companies continue to supply homes with high speed internet. Comcast, the largest broadband internet supplier in the country, added 418,000 new customers in the first quarter of 2011. Comcast hasn’t seen numbers that high since 2008.
The irony is that even though you may think you’ve cut the cord, the cable companies just have you wrapped around another cord instead.