Cable Loses 300,000 Customers in 3Q, Netflix Gains 880,000

Netflix, despite a weak earnings call, reported last week that it had signed up over 800,000 new subscribers to the service in 3Q 2015.

Coincidentally, analysis of the cable industry is reporting that over 300,000 people have cancelled cable in that same time period.

Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker put it simply, “We can’t deny the fact that there are fewer homes signing up for pay-TV.”

cable subscription decline
via Bloomberg

The average cost of cable television subscriptions compared to their streaming video counterparts simply can’t compete on price, with the average cable television package north of $50 and a monthly subscription to 2-3 streaming services often below $30 for a large portion of the same amount of content.

Live sports is of course an unsolved problem, but services like Sling TV are now offering the ability to stream major sports as they happen, leading more and more folks to abandon their streaming subscriptions. But as Bloomberg reports, there are still over 100M people who are still happily subscribed to their cable packages. So while 300,000 a quarter seems like a lot, the number is still floating around 1% annual decline if such trends continue.

Regardless, cable companies have to at least be slightly concerned that younger generations aren’t even considering signing up for a TV package when signing up for their first internet subscriptions, often opting to simply stream through SVODs like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime or merely borrowing their parent’s TV subscription logins. Recently, the term ‘cord nevers‘ started appearing, signaling that a large portion of younger generations will likely never subscribe to a cable TV package.