Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Big Drop in Spending on Cable Television Service

Americans really are cutting the cord. Results of the 2017 Consumer Expenditure Survey show a substantial drop in spending on cable and satellite television service. The $638 spent by the average household on cable service in 2017 was 18 percent below the 2016 level, after adjusting for inflation. Cable has now relinquished its position as the number-one entertainment item on which the average household spends the most. Spending on pets surpassed cable spending in 2017.

Behind the decline in spending is the shrinking percentage of households purchasing the service. Just 58 percent of households spent on cable/satellite service in the average quarter of 2017—10 percentage points below the 68 percent of 2016 and 16 percentage points below the all-time high of 74 percent in 2010. The decline in the share of households spending on cable/satellite service is occurring in every age group, with the biggest drop among younger adults. Take a look...

Percentage of households spending on cable/satellite service during an average quarter of 2017 (and percentage-point change since 2010)
Under age 25: 23.0% (–26)
Aged 25 to 34: 41.9%(–26)
Aged 35 to 44: 53.5% (–22)
Aged 45 to 54: 62.2% (–15)
Aged 55 to 64: 65.6% (–12)
Aged 65-plus: 69.9% (–9)

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the 2017 Consumer Expenditure Survey

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