Pay TV penetration continues to decline as new households don’t get cable

New evidence that cord cutting is happening comes from the Leichtman Research Group this week: The research outlet’s most recent study Cable, DBS & Telcos: Competing for Customers 2014 shows that the total number of pay TV households has been flat, while the number of houses and apartments has continued to grow.

Cable and other forms of pay TV are still very popular, with 84 percent of households subscribing to a pay TV service. However, in 2012, that number was at 87 percent. Moving into a new house or apartment also often coincides with choosing not to get cable: 22 percent of people who moved in the last year don’t subscribe to pay TV, which is a higher number than in previous years, according to Leichtman.

Also noteworthy: Cord cutting is a lot higher among households with less income. Twenty-two percent of households with annual incomes below $50,000 don’t subscribe to pay TV, compared to 13 percent with incomes above $50,000.

Pay TV executives have long argued that many of these new households made up of young people at the beginning of their career are going to connect once they make more money. But according to the Leichtman study, only six percent of households without pay TV plan to subscribe to a traditional service within the next six months.