Yesterday, HBO announced a new Internet streaming service for 2015 that will let you watch shows without a cable subscription.
Today, CBS announced a new Internet streaming service that will let you watch shows (not including the NFL) without a cable subscription.
In less than a day, the most critically acclaimed network and the most watched network bet on the future of Internet TV. And just like that, the cable bundle has unraveled more in the last 24 hours than in the previous 24 months.
HBO and CBS à la carte won't blow up cable. The vast majority of older households adores pay-TV and spends four to five hours a day glued to the couch. Many families won’t want to replace a technology they know and love with a mess of streaming options they have to learn.
But younger Americans are different. They grew up with that mess of options. They love that mess of options. They actually find a mess of options easier to deal with than a cable box and a Comcast representative.
According to comScore, 24 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds don’t subscribe to pay TV. (That’s split evenly between cord-cutters—those who dropped cable—and those who never bought cable.) The pay-TV business hopes this group will sign up for cable when they get older, get married, and have kids. You can see, in the graph below, that the market for pay-TV subscribers is already overrepresented by older households (in green).