The number of cord-cutters – individuals who have dropped their access to pay-for television services – will likely jump from 24.9 million in 2017 to 33 million in 2018 (an increase of 32.8%), according to eMarketer projections. By 2019, there will likely be 39.3 million cord-cutters. By the 2020 election cycle, there will be 45 million Americans abandoning their traditional TV services, and by 2022, 55.1 million. Why are so many individuals leaving traditional TV? eMarketer blames the growing popularity of original content found in streaming services like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are to blame. More individuals each day are “cutting the cord” of their TVs and opting for streaming services instead.
What does this mean for traditional advertising and political advertising, especially? Campaigns have been adapting to an evolving digital playing field for several election cycles. While traditional TV advertising will not go away any time soon, campaigns need to continue watching these trends and revising their budgets and strategy. Focusing on sharper data targeting and more robust digital ads on platforms like YouTube will reach larger numbers of targeted voters who no longer watch TV.