This Study Reveals How Cord Cutters’ and Cord Nevers’ TV Preferences Differ

One group just loves Netflix

The average household spends $7.95 a month for streaming services. iStock
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Cord cutters, people who have opted out of standard cable TV subscriptions, and Cord Nevers, people who never had any standard TV subscriptions to begin with, have different tastes in streaming platforms and shows.

This is according to the latest Cord Evolution study from GfK MRI, which addressed streaming attitudes and behaviors from 10,000 people across the United States. Cord cutters have an average age of 43 and account for 8 percent of the U.S. population; cord nevers are younger, at an average age of 34 and represent 9 percent of all U.S. consumers.

Over half of the cord nevers are millennials, ages 18 to 34, but just 35 percent of cord cutters are millennials.

This chart breaks down the differences between each group’s 10 favorite streaming-only shows. Of note is that the cord cutters all prefer shows on Netflix, while cord nevers have favorite shows from multiple platforms.

When it comes to defining what television means, 43 percent of cord nevers and 50 percent of cord cutters believe it to be anything they can watch specifically on a TV set, and 29 percent of both groups say that TV is anything they can view on any device.

“Both groups still have strong allegiance to TV sets and traditional programming models,” said Karen Ramspacher, the GfK MRI’s svp of consumer insights and director of the Future of TV research program, “but they clearly have different viewing tastes, and even diverge on their perceptions of what TV actually is. As millennials get older, we can look for these populations to transform and perhaps grow more similar, while Gen Z will begin to shape the cord never group more and more.”

@samimain Sami Main is social editor for Adweek, where she posts Adweek content onto social platforms and looks for creative ways to communicate what's new.