New cord cutting data spells trouble for traditional TV

Yup, it’s happening: TV viewers are abandoning traditional broadcast and cable networks for online streaming services, and new devices in their living rooms are making it easier for them to cut the cord. That’s the gist of two new studies from Nielsen and GfK.

Nielsen is reporting that traditional TV viewing dropped four percent last quarter, according to the Wall Street Journal. The average American watched 141 hours of TV per month during that time period, compared to 147 hours during the same time last year. Viewing of streaming services, on the other hand, rose to 11 hours per month, up from seven hours per month a year ago.

If that still seems like a steep imbalance, then it’s worth keeping in mind that Nielsen has effectively been undercounting [company]Netflix[/company] usage for years by only looking at PC-based streaming. The company is just now beginning to measure Netflix streaming to connected devices like Chromecast and Roku, and still isn’t capturing any mobile viewing data. For reference, Netflix subscribers stream more than 46 hours of movies and TV shows from the service every month on average, according to estimates from the Diffusion Group that are based on Netflix disclosures.

Adding to Nielsen’s data is a report from market research company GfK that estimates that one third of all consumers who own a Roku box, Chromecast stick or similar streaming device have reduced or eliminated their pay TV subscription. Twenty percent of all TV viewers own at least one of those devices, according to the GfK report, as reported by Broadband TV News.