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New Roku Study Shows Consumers Become Cord Shavers Before Cord Cutters

Stephanie Sengwe

At this point, we’re all familiar with the term “cord-cutting,” which refers to consumers who have left traditional pay-TV behind and get content through streaming. But a new Roku study titled “The New Generation of Cord Cutters” shows that the transition from pay-TV subscribership to cord-cutting is not as clean-cut as assumed.

Roku found that there is a middle category called “cord shavers,” which consists of viewers who have reduced their pay-TV service package within the past two years. Cord shavers tend to have an SVOD service and are in the stage of exploring alternatives to their current pay-TV service.

According to Roku, cord shavers make up 30.2 million (26 percent) of TV households — remaining constant year over year. The study found that 37 percent of cord shavers said they intended to cut the cord in the next six months, and they believe most of the 3.5 million new cord cutters came from that group. The study also found that 47 percent of cord shavers say they are likely to switch to a cheaper option in the next six months — double the number of cord traditionals.

Roku is reporting that while the number of cord shavers remained the same over the course of the study, the number of cord traditionals declined by four million TV households, and they believe the vast majority of them became cord shavers while a small portion went directly to cord cutting.

The company also revealed that TV viewership is highest among cord shavers with 80 percent of them watching over five hours of programming per day on weekends and 74 percent doing so on weekdays. In comparison, 67 percent of cord traditionals spend more than five hours of TV per day on weekends, while 68 percent watched more than five hours of TV per day on weekdays.