Why Cord Cutting Is Not A Real Thing
Are there people who had cable TV that do not have it anymore by choice? Yes. But it is long time to drop the term cord cutters. Why? Because what is happening with cable TV is no different than anything else that has happened in mass media since the first newspaper. Even the graphic we use everywhere is pretty ridiculous. Has anybody ever grabbed a pair of scissors and cut the coax cable in their house? That would be a dangerous and stupid mistake.
Yes, there was a time when a lot more people had cable television in their homes than they do now. Why are there fewer now? Two reasons. People with cable canceled and or died. And the following generations chose not to ever get signed up for the big bundles as they started their professional/independent lives/own households.
But to parade around like we were witnessing some phenomena, some kind of cultural shift unlike anything ever seen before in history to a point where it was assigned a name, was overblown from the start. And while I will still tell people that I can help them cut the cord, it is only because I don’t want to have to explain that cord cutting isn’t a real thing to everybody I talk to. It’s always been about how people spend their free time and what they want to pay for screen time.
Tell me, what was the name of people that decided that it was more fun to watch TV than listen to the radio? What did they call the phenomena where people decided that TV as a medium was a nice way to spend an evening as compared to going to the movies? Is there a term for people canceling newspaper subscriptions? No. What is happening is that people are simply changing the way they watch their favorite content or finding new favorite content. And over the past five years, the companies that own the content have devices to put said content on other platforms that are easy to access.
People are not cutting HBO, they are signing up for HBO Max. People are not cutting CBS, they are using antennas, signing up for Paramount+ or getting one of the cable replacement services that offer broadcast networks. Society is just finding a different way to watch TV, not going vegan. Can you imagine if all the people who cut cable stopped eating products that were produced from animals? It would bring down the economy. That would be a phenomenon worth noting.
Unless trends take a major turn, every year there will be fewer people who pay for cable TV. But you know what? There will probably be fewer people dressing the way that people did 10 years ago too. The top songs on the radio or the leading music streaming services will be different than they were 5,10,15, 20 years ago. And nobody will call it “Black Eyed Peas dumping”.
The name of the game is changing trends. But that does not sell headlines and get clicks. Just like the Streaming Wars were never a thing, neither is cord-cutting. Not to say that cable companies and satellite companies won’t continue to lose subscribers, but it won’t be because of any conscious revolution. It will simply be about choice.