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Study: in a few years, we won’t be talking about linear or cable TV

This could be good news for Apple TV+, Apple’s $4.99/month video streaming service: while the majority of American households currently subscribe to cable, the latest research from The Trade Desk, an ad tech company, indicates that with almost all Americans working from home, the shift away from traditional linear and cable TV may be accelerating.

What’s more, this shift is much more acute among the key 18- to 34-year-old demographic. According to The Trade Desk, 74%of this age group that have a screen for TV viewing have never had cable, have already cut the cord, or are planning to cut the cord. This contrasts with the 55-and-over age group, where 56% of viewers are shunning cable TV. Of those who still have cable, 11% plan to cut the cord by the end of 2020. This rises to 18% for the 18-to-34 age group.

“With only a quarter of them having any long-term interest in traditional cable TV, young professionals have already moved, en masse, to new TV viewing models. That’s compelling evidence that in a few years we won’t be talking about linear or cable TV at all,” says The Trade Desk. “It will all be online and streaming. For broadcasters, it’s all about how quickly they can pivot to where the eyeballs are moving — and many of them are already investing heavily in order to succeed in a world of Connected TV.”

With streaming TV consumption on the rise as many U.S. workers remain at home, thesurvey suggests that viewers would prefer to watch free or reduced-price streaming services with advertising versus subscription services with no advertising.

Significantly, among the 18- to 34-year-old age group, this dynamic is even more pronounced. Sixty-six percent of them are likely to watch ads while streaming a TV show (with ads showing every other episode) if it lowers their monthly subscription costs, versus 55% for 35- to 54-year-olds, and 47%for the 55+ year-old age group.

This survey for The Trade Desk was conducted by YouGov. Fieldwork for this survey was conducted on April 1-3, 2020. It’s a representative survey with a total sample size of 2,681 adults in the U.S. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18+).

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.