Analysis for 'Yankee Group'
Thursday, May 27, 2010, 10:42 AM ET|Posted by Will RichmondDaisy Whitney and I are pleased to present the 63rd edition of the VideoNuze Report podcast, for May 27, 2010.
In today's podcast Daisy starts us off by discussing her New Media Minute this week, in which she highlights recent research from Yankee Group forecasting that 1 in 8 consumers will become cord-cutters in the next 12 months. With the rise of online video viewing, cord-cutting - the idea of consumers discontinuing their pay-TV subscription service in favor of free online sources - has become a very hot topic.
In this context, the Yankee research got a lot of attention when it was released. I recently had a chance to speak to the 2 analysts responsible for the research, Vince Vittore and Dmitriy Molchanov, who walked me through some of their assumptions. They've also been kind enough to share half a dozen of their slides, which are available for a complimentary download here.
Yankee's conclusion is based on annual research the firm conducts which includes certain questions about consumers' intent. In this year's survey the question, "Does Internet video offer enough options for you to consider canceling your pay TV subscription?" As slide 3 shows, Yankee took the respondents who are considering this and then extrapolated how many will actually follow through based on trend lines from past research. I think it's a plausible approach, though 1 in 8 over the next 12 months seems very aggressive to me.
Personally, I've been skeptical about any onslaught of cord-cutting. Back in October, 2008 I laid out my 2 principal arguments: that it's difficult to watch online video on TVs (where it must be enjoyable by mainstream audiences in order for cord-cutting to really take off) and that cable programming will be very limited on the free Internet (and as a result this will be a big disincentive for fans of cable channels to drop them).
While a lot is happening on the convergence front (e.g. Google TV, Roku, etc.), with the advent of TV Everywhere, the likelihood that cable programs will not leak out onto the open Internet is lower than ever. That's not to say there isn't a ton of great video available for free or through other paid options (like Netflix's streaming), but for the vast majority of pay-TV subscribers, I'd maintain that cutting the cord will be a distant option for a while to come. Nonetheless, it is a fascinating topic which will surely get even more attention going forward.
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Companies: Yankee Group
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