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Broadband

Almost 10% of Dutch consumers to cut cord within 2 years

Tuesday 22 September 2015 | 15:48 CET | Background

Eight percent of Dutch consumers expect to cancel their TV subscription in the next two years as more programming becomes available over the internet. The share of consumers who want to keep their TV subscription in order to maintain access to live TV fell in the past half year from 58 to 47 percent, according to research by the Telecompaper Consumer Panel in August. In only six months, the percentage of consumers who expect to cancel their TV subscription within two years has doubled. The same survey in January this year found only 4 percent would consider 'cord cutting'. Another 5 percent said they expect that eventually they will no longer have a traditional TV subscription and switch to internet TV, although not necessarily in the next two years.

In only six months, the percentage of consumers who expect to cancel their TV subscription within two years has doubled. The same survey in January this year found only 4 percent would consider 'cord cutting' in the next two years and rely only on streaming. A total 97 percent of respondents in the August survey had traditional TV subscriptions. 

Another 5 percent said they expect that eventually they will no longer need a traditional TV subscription and will switch to internet TV, although not necessarily in the next two years.

TV subscription needed for live TV

Those who want to keep their TV subscription in order to access live programming (sports, news etc.) reached 47 percent in August, down from 58 percent in January but up from 40 percent in June 2014. This may reflect in part that there are still few providers offering OTT TV, and access to live TV on connected devices is usually linked to having a standard TV subscription. Vodafone offers its mobile customers the TV Anywhere service with 12 channels, and KPN is expected to launch later this year the OTT service Play with live channels (including the major public and commercial broadcasters) as well as VoD services. Lebara recently introduced an online TV service targeted at specific ethnic groups.

Other reasons not to cancel the TV subscription include resistance from other members of the family (7%). Nine percent cited 'other' reasons for not giving up their traditional TV service, up from 6 percent six months earlier. 

Young people more likely to cut cord

Young people were more likely to say they're ready to cut the cord. Among 12-19 year-olds, 13 percent said they expect to cancel their TV subscription within two years. This was 12 percent in the 20-29 age group and 11 percent of 30-39 year-olds. Among older age groups, only 5 percent of 50-64 year-olds could see ending their TV subscription within two years and almost no one over 65 said they expect to switch to internet from standard TV. 

Among teenagers, 8 percent expect their household will cancel the TV subscription within two years and 5 percent within one year. The 20-29 age group saw it differently, with 8 percent expecting to cut the cord in the next year and 4 percent within two years. 

The same age division appears among those who want to keep their TV service for live TV. Young people were less likely than the market average to hold on to their TV subscriptions for this reason (31% for teens, 43% for 20-29 year-olds), while older people were more likely, reaching as much as 60 percent of over-65s. 

Comparing the survey results from January and August, almost all age groups (except over-65s) showed an increase in the number of consumers who expect to cut the cord in the next two years. Teens showed the strongest increase, from 4 percent in January to 13 percent in August, the 20-29 group went from 7 to 12 percent, and those in 30s increased by 4 percent points to 11 percent. Over the same period, the share of consumers who would not cancel their TV subscriptions as they want access to live TV declined across all age groups. Half of teens said they would not cancel in Janaury, compared to just 31 percent in August, and the share among 40-49 year-olds fell from 58 to 43 percent. 

Men favour cancelling TV subscription

There were also differences between the sexes when it comes to cord-cutting. Ten percent of men expect to cancel their TV subscriptions within the next two years in favour of internet TV, while only 5 percent of women plan the same. In both cases there was a clear increase from the survey in January (from 5 to 10% for men and from 2 to 5% of women). More men than women also expect to cut the cord later than two years, at 6 percent versus 3 percent of women. 

Among both men and women, fewer said they expect to hold on to their TV subscription for live TV compared to six months ago, at 45 percent of men and 49 percent of women, versus respectively 58 and 57 percent in January.

Few cord cutters in Europe

Recent research by Rovi shows that few consumers the US, Europe and Asia have actually gone ahead yet with cutting the cord. Across all the countries covered, only 3 percent had canceled their TV subscriptions. The US was the highest at 7 percent, while countries such as Germany, France, China and India were at around 2 percent.

For more information about the Dutch TV and video market, please see Telecompaper's report  ‘Video Behaviour of Dutch Consumers’, which looks at developments in viewing habits in the second quarter of 2015.

This research is based on the Telecompaper Consumer Panel. The survey was conducted in August 2015 (n=1,686), June 2014 (n=931) and January 2015 (n=1,692). Panel participants are aged 12-80, and results are stratified for age, gender and education. For more information about research opportunities with our panel, please contact research@telecompaper.com.



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