Written by: Thomas Reese
June 21, 2024

The television industry in the United States is expected to witness a $30 billion fall in traditional pay-TV subscriptions and ad revenue compared to 2017 due to cord-cutting.

The major reason cited by the cord-cutters is the high costs required for a traditional TV subscription. Over 80 million households in the United States are projected to have canceled their TV services in the United States by 2026. 

Let’s take a detailed breakdown of the number of cord cutters in the United States, reasons for cord cutting, consumer behavior, the impact of cord cutting, and more in this article. 

Top Cord Cutting Statistics for 2024

  • Cable and satellite TV providers have lost over 20 million US subscribers since 2014.
  • 75% of households with a TV are expected to have no traditional TV subscription in the United States by the end of 2025. 
  • The pay-TV penetration rate in the country witnessed a drop of 20% between 2014 and 2023.
  • 86.7% of the people reported cutting the cords due to the price.
  • Pay TV revenue decreased from $100.09 billion in 2017 to $86.21 billion in 2022.
  • YouTube TV is the most-watched virtual multichannel video programming distributor (vMVPD) services in the United States, with 7.9 million subscribers in 2023.

US Cord Cutting Statistics

46.6 million households in the United States are expected to cut cords in 2024.

Comparatively, 24.6 million households reported cutting their pay-TV cords in the United States. That is an increase of 89.43% in the number of households that are expected to cut their pay-TV cords in the United States in 2024 compared to 2019. 

The following table displays the number of households that have cut their pay-TV cords in the United States.

YearNumber of Households That Have Cut the Cords
2024*46.6 million
2023*43 million
2022*39.3 million
2021*35.5 million
2020*31.2 million
201924.6 million

*-Estimated Numbers

Source: Statista 

75% of households with a TV are expected to have no traditional TV subscription in the United States by the end of 2025. 

 Comparatively, over 53% of households in the United States who owned a TV stated that they did not have a traditional TV subscription in 2022. This was an increase of 6% in the households compared to that recorded in 2022.

Further, only 20% of households with a TV did not have a TV connection in 2015. 

Share Of Tv Households Without A Traditional Tv

The following table displays the share of households with a TV but do not own a traditional TV connection in the United States.

Year Share of TV Households Without a Traditional TV Connection
2025*75%
202253%
202147%
202041.7%
201936.1%
201830.6%
201726.2%
201622.6%
201520%
201418.8%

Source: Statista

64% of the adults in the United States stated that they had some sort of live pay-TV service.

These live pay TV services were cable, DBS, telco, or internet-delivered vMVPD. 

The Pay TV penetration rate in the United States dropped by 2% in 2023 compared to 2022. At the same time, the Pay TV penetration rate in the country witnessed a drop of 20% in a decade, that is, between 2014 and 2023.

Besides, the pay TV penetration rates in the United States have been declining steadily since 2010 after reaching the highest penetration rate of 88%. 

The following table displays the pay TV penetration rates in the United States recorded over the years.

YearPay TV Penetration Rate in US Households 
202364%
202266%
202171%
202074%
201975%
201878%
201779%
201682%
201585%
201484%
201386%
201287%
201187%
201088%
200582%

Source: Statista

Pay TV providers in the United States lost 5.04 million net subscribers in 2023. 

Comparatively, 4.6 million net subscribers had cut down pay TV in the United States in 2022. Besides, pay-TV providers lost only 125,780 subscribers in the US in 2014. 

Further, the number of pay TV subscribers lost in the United States almost doubled in 2017 and 2019. 

The following table displays the number of net subscribers pay TV providers lost in the United States over the years. 

YearNumber of Net Subscribers Lost
20235,035K
20224,590K
20214,689.24K
20205,118.63K
20194,913.96K
20182,874.47K
20171,493.25K
2016*796.9K
2015383.47K
2014125.78 K

Source: Statista

86.7% of the people reported cutting the cords due to the price. 

Why Do People Cut The Cord?

The majority of people worldwide are cutting cords to save money, as paying for traditional TV is quite pricey compared to buying other subscriptions. 

The second majority, or 2 in 5 cord-cutters, stated that the main reason they removed traditional TV cable was their preference for streaming, while 23% said that they were switching to antennae TV. 

Conversely, 7.7% of cord-cutters said they prefer to watch original content on streaming services over other content. 

Why Cord-cutters Switch From Traditional Cable

The following table displays the reasons why cord-cutters switch from traditional cable services. 

ReasonPercentage of Cord Cutters
Price 86.7%
Preference for streaming 39.7%
Switching to Antennae TV23%
Prefer binge watching15.9%
Moving and don’t wish to renew services 13%
Prefer original content on streaming platforms7.7%

Source: Broadband Search

31.02% of the of cord cutters stated that cable was too expensive 

According to a 2022 survey, nearly one-third of cord-cutters stated that the primary reason they switched from traditional TV was the high cost. 

8.03% of the cord-cutters said that they did not use the cable enough to justify its costs in their pockets. 

Meanwhile, 6.53% of the respondents said that they had cut the cord as they were not satisfied with the services they were receiving. 

The following table displays the primary reasons that cord-cutters stated for switching from traditional TV services to other content services.

  • Cable was too expensive: 31.02%
  • Did not use cable enough to justify the cost: 8.03%
  • I was not satisfied with the service I was receiving: 6.53%
  • Cable was too difficult to use: 5.79%
  • Stopped watching live news on cable: 5.04%
  • There are no/fewer commercials on streaming services: 4.16%
  • Child/children persuaded them to: 3.9%
  • Parent(s) persuaded them to: 3.87%
  • Stopped watching live entertainment events on cable:3.81%
  • Stopped watching political content on cable: 3.71%
  • Moved to a location that did not have cable access: 3.37%
  • Did not want to be locked into a contract: 2.73%
  • Spouse/partner persuaded me to: 2.63%
  • Friend(s) persuaded me to: 2.13%
  • Stopped watching live sports on cable: 1.8%

Source: Statista

Cord Cutting Consumer Statistics

Nearly 27% of the adults in Q2 2023 in Canada and the United States planned to cut the cords by the end of 2023.

At the same time, 28.8% of the consumers in the United States and Canada planned to cut the cords in Q4 2022. 

The following table displays the share of consumers who had planned to cut the cords by the end of 2023.

YearPercentage of Consumers in the US and Canada Who Planned to Cut Cords
Q2 2023 27%
Q4 202228.8%
Q4 202124.2%
201818.8%
201713%

Source: Statista

12% of the people in the United States said they are extremely likely to cancel their pay TV services in the next 12 months. 

Of these, 19% of the people aged 18 to 34 said they were extremely likely to cut the cords. Meanwhile, only 5% of the adults in the United States aged 55 years or older said they are highly likely to cancel pay-TV services in the next 12 months. 

The following table displays the distribution of the people in the United States who said they are likely to cancel their pay TV services by age group in the next 12 months as of October 2022. 

Likelihood score18 to 34 years35 to 54 yearsOver 55 yearsAll
1 – Not at all likely32%35%57%46%
211%16%19%16%
318%17%13%15%
421%14%6%11%
5 – Extremely Likely19%18%5%12%

Source: Statista

One-third of US and Canadian cord-cutters resubscribed to pay TV services because they could not get all the entertainment they wanted.

At the same time, over 2 in 10 US and Canadian cord-cutters who subscribed to pay TV said that the services were not very expensive. 

 31.8% of the people who resubscribed said it was the best way to watch major live events. 

The following table displays the reasons stated by the cord-cutters in the United States and Canada who resubscribed to pay TV services in the 4th quarter of 2022. 

ReasonsThe Percentage of Subscribers
couldn’t get all the entertainment they wanted33.1%
Consider it the best way to watch major live events31.8%
like knowing they always have many channels available30.3%
Consider it the best way to watch sports29.2%
Consider it the best way to watch local programming28.5%
have entertainment components that only work with pay TV26.3%
Think that service is not very expensive21.8%
Streaming video services are not as reliable19.8%
Prefer to just pay one cable/satellite/fiber bill19.7%
Streaming video services cost just as much as pay-TV service15.8%
got TV service bundled with my broadband Internet service15.6%
They can easily skip the ads when recording programs from pay TV15.2%
Received a deal or special offer to get traditional pay-TV service8.7%

Source: Statista

Impact Of Cord Cutting

Pay TV revenue decreased from $100.09 billion in 2017 to $86.21 billion in 2022

As a result of cord-cutting, pay TV revenue declined by $13.88 billion in just five years between 2017 and 2022. 

The Pay TV revenue is estimated to be $84.29 billion in 2024. 

At the same time, traditional TV advertising revenue decreased from $68.47 billion in 2017 to $62.28 billion in 2022. This is a decrease of $6.19 billion in the span of 5 years. 

The following table displays the distribution of the revenue of the traditional TV and home video market by segment.

YearPay TV RevenueTraditional TV Advertising RevenuePhysical Home Video Revenue
202781.33 billion53.13 billion2.59 billion
202682.39 billion55.15 billion2.76 billion
202583.42 billion57.16 billion2.92 billion
202484.29 billion59.18 billion3.09 billion
202384.89 billion61.04 billion3.25 billion
202286.21 billion62.28 billion3.44 billion
202193.17 billion63.26 billion3.87 billion
202093.83 billion63.71 billion4.07 billion
201997.53 billion68.52 billion4.26 billion
201898.81 billion69.58 billion4.45 billion
2017100.09 billion68.47 billion4.63 billion

Source: Statista

Streaming Services And VMVPDS

With 7.9 million subscribers in 2023, YouTube TV is the most-watched virtual multichannel video programming distributor (vMVPD) services in the United States.

Hulu follows YouTube with 4.6 million subscribers in the United States. It is the second most watched vMPD service in the United States. 

Most cord-cutters in the United States have shifted towards these vMPD services to access full entertainment packages. 

The following table displays the number of people in the United States who have subscribed to selected vMVPD services in 2023. 

vMVPD ServicesNumber of Subscribers in the United States
YouTube TV7.9 million
Hulu + Live TV4.6 million
Sling TV2.06 million
Fubo1.62 million

Source: Statista

Related Data & Stats:

Conclusion: Cable and satellite TV providers have lost over 20 million US subscribers since 2014

Cord Cutting has drastically impacted the television industry, leading to a decline of 20% in the pay TV penetration rates between 2014 and 2023. This has also resulted in a decrease of $13.88 billion in the pay-TV revenue between 2017 and 2022. 

On the other hand, streaming services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, etc, have gained popularity in the past decade.  Currently, 99% of households in the United States subscribe to at least one streaming service. 

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