There's a war for TV, and the metrics firm Nielsen has been tracking it. The firm today released a report that found that the number of cord-cutters — households that aren't receiving television broadcasts through traditional means — has more than doubled in the past six years. Over five million households are now what Nielsen calls "zero-tv" homes, but even if those are trending upward, they still account for less than five percent of all households.
Nielsen found that the majority of these nontraditionally connected homes are getting content on other devices, with computers currently eclipsing tablets and smartphones. Though these households are in part defined by a lack of subscription to traditional TV providers, 48 percent of zero-tv households watch TV content through subscription services. For nearly a third of these homes, cost is the primary factor in not subscribing to television services.
Cost was the main reason for cord-cutting
Even though these households are still a small contingent, it's enough that Nielsen has taken notice. This coming season will be the first time that Nielsen measures TV viewing from nontraditional sources such as smartphones and Hulu. And these new trends are coinciding with a decrease in physical media, and a general increase in content consumption year-over-year since 2011. Not surprisingly, zero-tv households tend to skew younger — but don't let the name fool you: 75 percent do in fact own a TV.