Cord Cutting Statistics for 2020

Cord cutting now accounts for 19.9% of US households in 2020, raising their numbers to a staggering total of 25.3 million.

In 2018, there were 90.3 million US households subscribed to PA (Cable/Satellite) TV, with that number dropping by almost 4 million this year to 86.5 million. This number is expected to drop even further in 2020 to 82.9 million households.

Homes that have cut the cord are likewise increasing at a similar rate. In 2018, the number of households without pay TV service was 36 million. That number has steadily increased to 40.2 million in 2019 and an estimated 44.3 million in 2020.

It is important to point out that just because a household doesn’t have Pay TV service, doesn’t mean they are a cord cutter. As many Millennials enter the workforce, they simply do not see the benefit of paying over $123 a month on cable service and are colloquially referred to as ‘Cord Nevers’. A cord cutter is someone who once did pay for TV, then cancelled their service in favor of cheaper and/or more customer friendly alternatives such as streaming or the use of a DTV antenna.

201820192020 2021 
Pay TV Households90.386.582.979.4
Non-Pay TV Households36.040.244.348.3
Cord Cutting Households18.321.925.328.6
Cord Cutting Adults33.039.345.050.2
OTT Viewers170.7182.5191.5194.2

numbers in millions, † notes an estimate

Are Cord Cutters Missing Anything?

The majority – 52% – of cord cutters say they don’t miss anything about their old Cable or Satellite TV. If they did miss anything, it was typically live events (23%), local and national news (22%), and sports (19%).

The Impact of Streaming Services

In 2018, there were almost 171 million subscriptions to streaming services, which increased by 6.9% in 2019 to 182.5 million. OTT services such as Netflix, Hulu, Youtube TV and Sling lead the way here and are still expected to headline a list of streaming services that will net a total 191.5 million subscribers in 2020.

Over half the respondents in our survey stated they currently subscribe to Netflix and Amazon Prime. As new streaming services such as Peacock, Disney+, Apple TV+ and HBO Max ramp up in late 2019 and early 2020, we expect these numbers to shift, but not significantly.

  • Netflix: 60%
  • Amazon Prime: 53%
  • Hulu: 18%
  • Sling: 9.8%
  • Youtube TV: 9.5%
  • Pluto TV: 8.5%

Surprisingly consumers (56% of them) actually liked having so many streaming providers to choose from, compared to the 13.7% that found all the different choices way too confusing. Over 23% of our respondents complained that all the services were just too expensive for them.