It has now been a couple of years since I cut my cable and began exclusively watching Internet video on my home television. I still feel that it was one of the wiser decisions I've made with technology, saving me hundreds of dollars a year and countless headaches dealing with a cable company.
But was this just a move to be expected of a techie? Some have speculated that cutting the cable cord is simply a fad. But a new report issued on Wednesday suggests that if it is a fad, it's one that's moving into the mainstream.
The report, the result of a survey of 2,000 United States adult broadband users, found that people who use Netflix to stream Internet video to their televisions are twice as likely to cancel, or slim down, their cable television options as they were a year ago.The report comes from the Diffusion Group, a Dallas-based media research firm.
When the Diffusion Group surveyed Netflix members in 2010, they found that 16 percent of customers were planning to downgrade or cancel their cable television service. During the same survey this year, the number of customers planning to make that change had doubled to 32 percent.
The report also found that although the majority of those surveyed cited economic reasons and "the need to save money" as a rationale for canceling cable, 34 percent said a growing use of online video was the culprit, "two-thirds of which cite Netflix in particular as the primary perpetrator," the report says.
Now, instead of having only the option to pay a cable company to deliver content, people have an array of choices and devices. Netflix clearly saw this trend coming, and over the past year has started offering its video content on mobile phones, tablets, computers, game consoles, or devices that hook up to a television, including Boxee and Apple TV. The company also began offering customers a streaming-only option late last year.