The millennials are tuning out cable television. The millenials are the generation born between 1980 and 2000. They are doing what many of us have wanted to do for years, tell the cable TV industry to take a hike. As cable fees continue to climb, the younger generation is finding viable alternatives.
Since 2010, the portion of households with cable TV has fallen. Comcast, for example, has 21.6 million subscribers. That’s down 1.6% from a year ago. Although 86 percent of U.S. households are wired for cable TV, the millennials are starting to change the channel, by subscribing to Netflix and absorbing much of their video content on their tablets and smartphones.
The StarTribune of Minneapolis reports: “Around 20 percent of households headed by people under 25 do not have a television but watch programs on other devices, such as laptops and tablets. If Netflix were a cable channel, its subscription revenue in 2013 would put it third in the United States behind ESPN and HBO, according to MoffettNathanson, a research firm.”
Comcast, the nation’s largest cable operator, sees the trend and is determined to reverse it. By acquiring NBCU, the company is also the world’s largest media firm, enabling it to control content. But there is competition, elsewhere. AT&T uverse, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu are just some of the services taking a bite out of the cable TV apple.
“Television is going to change more in the next five years than it has in the last 50,” said Brian Roberts, whose dad Ralph bought a small cable TV firm in 1963.