Digital Home: Nielsen’s Idell: No One Is ‘Cutting The Cord’ — Yet

Considering the spate of basic video subscriber losses at the cable companies this past year, talk of consumers cutting the cable cord has become much louder. But as Cheryl Idell, Nielsen’s EVP for Media Product Leadership, explained, people may be talking about it but no one appears to be doing it. The other media hype getting a lot of attention these days is 3DTV, and in that area, Idell finds some doubt about its rapid adoption, at least in the interim.

Idell cited some small stats about the number of broadband-only households, noting that a mere 6 percent of broadband households had cut the cord. Looking back over the past year, if there had been actual cord-cutting, Nielsen would have seen those households grow. But the audience measurement company’s figures showed that there has been no movement at all for that small group. “So will people cut the cord?” Idell said, posing the the question. “Maybe in the future, but we’re not seeing it yet.”

Idell covered a range of media behaviors, highlights included:

On 3D: 77 percent of consumers see 3DTV as a “special event technology.” At the same time, 68 percent have been resistant because it costs so much, while another 57 percent don’t like the idea of wearing the 3D glasses.

Online video: There’s a lot of acquisition and investment activity in the online video space right now. But for the moment, the ad spending is still pretty slim. Again, it’s safe to expect that to change. Some of it could have to do with who’s watching, especially when it comes to expensive long-form video. At the moment, mostly women and younger people are taking in premium long-form viewing online. Until the content shift changes, such as more live sports programming, Nielsen doesn’t see much change there either.