National Survey Reveals Dramatic Shift from Cable to Streaming Services

Scissors cutting through a TV shaped coaxial cable  -- cord cutting concept

Brian Colling, CEO, and Fred Petrovsky, CMO

In its ongoing effort to monitor changing consumer media consumption behavior, the Colling Media market research team has conducted a national Summer 2019 Snapshot Study. The study focuses on cable/satellite TV attrition, video adoption, attitudes toward advertising interruption, and Disney’s new video-on-demand offerings.

Here are key findings from the national survey of adults in the U.S.

Migration away from cable/satellite TV has picked up speed—25% of respondents said that they canceled their cable/satellite television service within the past two months. Perhaps as expected, these services by consumers 44 and under is near twice the rate of those 45+ (33% vs. 17%).

There is a corresponding movement toward video-on-demand services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime; 46% of consumers say that they started a new subscription to a video-on-demand streaming service within the past two months. Younger consumers are much more likely to have subscribed to a video-on-demand service. A significant 60% of consumers 44 and under say they subscribed to one of these services in the past two months, compared with 29% of those 45+.

Unsurprisingly, the movement toward watching video on non-traditional devices is nearly complete. Over the past two months, 83% of consumers say they watched a program, movie or video on their desktop or laptop computer, tablet, smartphone, or another mobile device.

The Colling Media market research team uncovered good news for The Walt Disney Company. A robust 46% of consumers say they are likely or very likely to subscribe to Disney’s $12.99 service bundle of Hulu, ESPN+, and Disney+.

Consumers were also asked how they feel about ads interrupting YouTube videos. A statistically significant 60% of consumers say they are annoyed by the ads. Of those who say they are annoyed by the ads, 55% say they are most annoyed with the advertiser, while 45% are irritated by YouTube.


The data makes it clear that consumers are choosing streaming entertainment services for the same reason they swapped out home phones for cell phones. Consumers prefer mobile, on-demand, and customized choices. Advertisers clinging to traditional media should be very concerned about their cord-cutting customers. More than ever, it’s vital for brands to incorporate OTT (over-the-top) programmatic advertising into their marketing mix for optimal results.


The Colling Media Snapshot Survey was conducted on August 9, 2019, from a panel of U.S. adults. The survey’s final dataset was 344 consumers. The margin of error is +-6%.