Why Cord Cutting Won’t Suck in 2016

cut-the-cord-2016“Suddenly you’re spending about what you were for cable in the first place.”

Klint Finley, Wired.

We’ve been barking for a while that cord cutting can be confusing. As more services pop up, all costing somewhere between $0-$20, it quickly becomes obvious that if saving money is the sole-motivating factor for consumers on the hunt for a full cable replacement, they might be out of luck.

Wired writer Klint Finley wrote a good piece on why this brave new world might suck for a while. The confusion and escalating costs of getting rid of cable paired with pending data caps will scare off potential cord cutters, and perhaps even turn a few back to their cable subscriptions.

Discussing the individual costs of a handful of apps quickly makes it obvious that to replicate a standard cable subscription, we’ll all end up far worse off, likely paying closer to $100+ a month spread across 10+ apps.

But this misses the bigger point of cutting cable.

Not counting the fact that most folks share at least one of their subscription passwords (guilty as charged), the majority of cord cutters only subscribe to 1-3 services themselves. Most people don’t hunt to replace cable 1-for-1, instead looking for just enough to satiate their entertainment needs.

Cutting the cord is often about simplification and the benefits of the modular services available. Browse through a cable television directory with its 1000+ channels. How many are actually useful? Maybe 25 of them? There are easily hundreds of channels in most cable packages that never see the light of day for most subscribers, bundled together to keep the bulk pricing of a subscription down. Instead of paying for all this useless junk, most cord cutters opt to sign up for a handful of select services that fit their needs.

If for $15-30 a month, a cord cutter can get 90% of the way to mimicking their cable-viewing habits, that’s a net positive. The ‘last mile’ of cord cutting might be tough to accomplish, as things like live sports or niche entertainment options will remain expensive, at least in the short term.

For myself, as someone only subscribed to three SVOD services, I already have a half-dozen or so shows I’m well behind on and likely won’t be caught up anytime soon. I have far too much television available to me now, and I haven’t had a cable subscription in years. I don’t feel I’m personally missing out on anything by not being subscribed to every service.

While certainly if one opts to subscribe to every new streaming service, it’d be extremely easy to see monthly charges for television entertainment balloon into the hundreds of dollars a month. Not to mention this would be spread out over dozens of services, all with their own monthly charge (have fun with that when your bank sends you a new credit card number).

Cord cutting isn’t for everyone and it can certainly be an interesting adjustment, but we don’t believe that most folks can’t find a way to make it work.