Anecdotally, it seems to me that more and more people my age are going without a cable subscription and relying on over-the-air television and internet streaming for our video needs. But the New York Times says that despite the hype, there’s no real aggregate trend here. The declining economy is hurting cable companies, but it’s hurting them in the sense that some people are now too poor to pay for television or broadband Internet, they’re not using the Web instead of TV.
“Overwhelmingly, the losses are coming at the low end of the income spectrum,” said Craig Moffett, an analyst for Sanford C. Bernstein. Most such cord-cutters do not have a broadband Internet connection, he said.
“X is not a trend” is often a hard story to get placed in a periodical, but it’s important to know this stuff. I tend to suspect that a big part of the issue here is that the same people who sell broadband Internet also sell television, so there’s no strong incentive to market the cableless option. The presence or absence of information is important to functioning markets, and absent the marketing incentive the information doesn’t really exist.