86% of People That Have Cut the Cord on Cable and Satellite TV Are Happy With Their Decision [Survey]

All About Cookies surveyed 1,000 people to see how many have cut the cord on traditional TV services, the streaming services they use instead, and more.
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Cable and satellite TV costs have been on the rise for decades, which means people spend hundreds of dollars annually for packages that include dozens of channels they don’t watch. Subsequently, more and more people are “cutting the cord” every year and turning to alternatives like streaming services to watch their favorite shows and movies.

But does this always turn out well? Are streaming subscribers still paying for more than they use? To get a greater understanding of cord-cutting and how people consume content after removing traditional TV services from their lives, we surveyed 1,000 consumers and discovered how many have already cut the cord, how they feel about that decision, and what life is like on the other side.

In this cord-cutting survey
Key findings
How Americans are watching TV
Cord-cutters don’t regret their decision
The average cost of streaming services compared to cable
The streaming services with the highest subscriber loyalty
Top reasons for canceling a streaming service subscription
Advice from our experts
Tired of cable TV? Follow these best practices if you’re looking to cut the cord

Key findings

  • Less than half (46%) of Americans still use traditional cable or satellite TV services.
    • This includes just 27% of Gen Z viewers.
  • Only 14% of cord-cutters regret the switch from cable.
  • 84% of people have canceled a streaming subscription in the past. Price hikes were the most common reason. The average person subscribes to 3.6 streaming services, with an average monthly cost of $58.
  • Not everyone is getting their money’s worth from streaming.
    • Most used: Netflix (88% of subscribers watch weekly)
    • Least used: Apple TV (57% of subscribers watch weekly)

How Americans are watching TV

So how are Americans watching TV at home? Before taking a deeper dive into the specifics of cord-cutting, we wanted to understand exactly how people are watching TV.

Of those we surveyed, less than half, 46%, said they watch TV through traditional cable or satellite services. Compare this with 76% of respondents who said they watch shows through paid streaming services, and you can see how important streaming platforms are for media consumption.

On a generational level, trends in the data suggest that younger people are less and less likely to rely on traditional cable or satellite services. In fact, there’s a significant drop in viewership among Gen Z consumers — roughly half as many said they pay for cable compared to older Americans.

While around half of millennials, Gen X, and baby boomers still use traditional TV subscriptions, only one in four Gen Z respondents use the services. Still, less than 60% of all generations said they still are attached to cable or satellite.

Cord-cutters don’t regret their decision

Getting rid of traditional TV services can be an appealing option when the cable bill comes, but how satisfied are people who actually do cut the cord?

The vast majority of cord-cutters, 86%, are happy with their decision to get rid of cable and satellite TV services. That means, despite things like rising streaming subscription prices and an expanding selection of services to choose from, just 14% of people who cut the cord on those traditional TV services say they regret doing so.

The average cost of streaming services compared to cable

Rising cable costs and the thousands of options for shows and movies on various streaming services have been key factors in the popularity of cord-cutting. As long as streaming subscriptions are more affordable than cable for the average household, it makes sense to move away from cable.

By asking respondents which popular streaming services they currently subscribe to, we found that the average person has subscriptions for a little more than 3.5 popular streaming services, which costs $58 per month on average. That’s $25 less than the average amount that people pay for cable ($83).

The streaming services with the highest subscriber loyalty

With so many big-name streaming services available to consumers, which ones are people the most and least likely to subscribe to?

For many, Netflix is the service that introduced them to the idea of streaming video content. Launched in 2007, Netflix got in early and made itself a household name — one that appears to have staying power.

60% of people currently pay for a Netflix subscription — the most of any streaming platform. The only other streaming service that more than half of people are currently subscribed to is Amazon Prime Video, which 59% of people have an account for.

Of course, it’s one thing to subscribe to a streaming service and another thing to actually use it. Netflix leads the way there as well: 88% of people with a Netflix subscription say they watch a show or movie on Netflix at least once a week, the highest rate of any service.

Apple TV+ is the platform with the lowest percentage of subscribers and the one that subscribers use least often. Just 18% of people say they currently have an Apple TV+ subscription, and just 57% of those who do subscribe say they watch something on Apple TV every week.

Top reasons for canceling a streaming service subscription

Even though streaming is cheaper than cable, with so many platform options, it’s no surprise to see people who want to cut down on what they pay for. We wanted to find out who has cut streaming platforms and why.

Overall, we found that 84% of Americans have canceled a streaming subscription at some point in their lives. The most popular reasons were:

  • Price increases (44%)
  • Lack of use (30%)
  • Too expensive (29%)
  • Had too many subscriptions (24%)
  • Only signed up for the free trial (18%)

With every major streaming service raising prices in the last year, including more planned increases from Netflix coming up, it will be interesting to see how subscriber rates change in the face of customer backlash to price hikes.

Advice from our experts

While our study gave good insight on how many people are making the switch from streaming to cable and which platforms are the most popular, we also had our own questions about cord cutting. To find out, we asked a panel of experts to weigh in.


Gary R. Bertoline, Ph.D

Distinguished Professor of Engineering Technology and Computer & Information Technology
Purdue University

Are there any security risks to users' PII (personally identifiable information) when switching from cable to streaming?

Anything that uses the internet has the potential to be a security risk. Most cable companies use websites for user accounts, which is a security risk. I do not see any additional security risks when switching from cable to streaming unless the cable company only uses paper billing and does not have an online option for programming. The security risk depends on the security requirements employed by the cable or streaming service.

Do you foresee any long-term limitations with live streaming? (e.g., bandwidth issues, internet connection speeds, and geo-blocking)

Maybe if 4K programming becomes the norm there may be streaming issues especially in rural or underserved communities with low bandwidth internet options.

Is cord cutting starting to lose its appeal as streaming subscriptions are getting that much more expensive?

Somewhat because of the plethora of streaming subscription services and rising prices. The end of the COVID lockdowns has also been a drag on cord-cutting as well as cable companies increasing their own offerings and programming bundles. Content bundling of streaming services and access to content will drive consumer decisions in the future, as will price and ease of use.


Yu Cai, Ph.D

Professor and Associate Chair, Applied Computing
Michigan Technological University

Are there any security risks to users' PII (personally identifiable information) when switching from cable to streaming?

Security risks to personally identifiable information (PII) exist both online and offline, encompassing issues like data breaches, information leaks, phishing scams, and many others. However, these risks aren't specifically tied to the switching from cable to streaming services. Staying with cable services doesn't eliminate the threat of data breaches and leaks. On the other hand, reputable streaming service providers often maintain substantial online security and privacy teams. Therefore, when choosing trusted streaming providers, your PII is likely to be better safeguarded due to their more robust protective measures.

Do you foresee any long-term limitations with live streaming? (i.e. bandwidth issues, internet connection speeds, and geo-blocking)

In the long term, challenges like bandwidth limitations, internet speed constraints, and geo-blocking are unlikely to hinder the growth of live streaming. The continuous advancement in internet technology, coupled with increasing ease of use, support across multiple platforms, and the flexibility to view content anywhere at any time, will only serve to enhance the popularity of live streaming.

Is cord cutting starting to lose its appeal as streaming subscriptions are getting that much more expensive?

Price is certainly one of the most important factors when people choose streaming subscriptions. However, the situation is dynamic, and user preferences vary widely. Some may prioritize the convenience and flexibility of streaming services, while others may reconsider the value proposition as costs rise. The industry could respond to these challenges with new pricing models, bundles, or innovations in content delivery to maintain or enhance the appeal of streaming.

Some responses may have been slightly edited for clarity and brevity.

Tired of cable TV? Follow these best practices if you’re looking to cut the cord

  • Connect to a VPN. Virtual private networks (VPNs) are a recommended tool to safely access your favorite shows and movies. Be sure to read up on all of the available streaming VPNs, such as NordVPN.
  • Download anti-malware protection. As some forms of online streaming can make you vulnerable to internet and privacy issues, it’s important to learn about the many benefits of anti-malware software.
  • Enhance your password security. Another important step for online safety is to install a password manager to protect your confidential information, especially if you watch unofficial streaming content or out-of-market games.


To collect the data for this survey, our team at All About Cookies surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults in January 2024 via Pollfish. All respondents were U.S. citizens over the age of 18 and remained anonymous.

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Author Details
Josh Koebert is an experienced content marketer that loves exploring how tech overlaps with topics such as sports, food, pop culture, and more. His work has been featured on sites such as CNN, ESPN, Business Insider, and Lifehacker.