Cutting the cord not clear-cut

OU News Bureau

Streaming applications are on the rise and with that comes the question: ‘Should I cut the cord on cable?’

The research is not concrete. According to Pew Research Center, “About six-in-ten of those ages 18 to 29 (61%) say the primary way they watch television now is with streaming services on the internet.”

The answer to the question becomes: It depends.

On average, cable costs $103 per month, according to Leichtman Research Group, not including what consumers pay for internet.

April Jordon, 27, of Waterford has never paid for cable. Her streaming application of choice is Netflix.

“A lot of the shows I like are on Netflix. There’s maybe a few that I liked that are on television only,” Jordon said. “But I’m not going to pay for cable just to watch a few TV shows.”


This seems to be the thinking that comes along with cord-cutting.

Oakland University professor Erin Meyers said if the shows watched are primarily on Netflix and that’s what you would rather pay for, then, of course, this option is cheaper.

“But if you want new episodes of current shows on TV, then you’re paying for different apps, too,” Meyers said.

Major networks such as CBS, NBC and ABC all have applications. CBS made a remake of the show “StarTrek” and released the pilot on air. The rest of the series is only on the app. More networks may start to copy this idea to get viewers on their apps, which, for some, could make cord-cutting an easier decision.  

Another reason cord-cutting has an appeal is easy access.

“We watch TV in a lot of different ways, not just on that box in our living room anymore,” Meyers said. “One of the primary reasons people decide to cord-cut is because they want that access on their tablets on their computers that they watch in a lot of different places.”

Consumers want to eliminate the stress of dealing with cable providers, as well. The stigma that cable companies tend to have are: too high of pricing or lack of customer satisfaction. The internet service providers are the same companies the cable comes from.

“The choice you think you have that your exercising with cutting your cable, you’re actually still paying the same people,” Meyers said.

The downside to cutting cable out and only keeping internet with your subscriptions may drive up the price of internet for everyone.

“They may decide to make internet more expensive because they’re not making as much money on cable and they are free to do that in the market,” Meyers said.

Another factor with cord-cutting is news consumption.

News tends to travel faster through media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. When watching the news on television, consumers obtain more information as opposed to finding topics that interest them and only updating on that topic.  

Lynda Burman

Lynda Burman, 62, of Commerce is a longtime user of cable and has watched the news faithfully, morning and night, for over 15 years.

“I wouldn’t say it keeps me more updated than if I were to check my phone. That’s definitely faster,” Burman said. “But when I watch my shows, and something happens, my television will interrupt with breaking news and allows me to see live footage of it happening. I appreciate that more than reading about it later.”

Although the statistics are not concrete on whether you should cut the cord on cable, there are positives and negatives to either option.

“If you’re going to cut and pay for all those subscriptions you may find yourself not saving any money,” Meyers said.  

Before a decision is made, weigh the options. Without research, the result is paying higher prices to multiple companies. Here’s a survey from Slate that guides consumers to help with the decision.



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Posted by on Nov 28 2017. Filed under Featured article, Michigan. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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