CivicScience Tech Lens Series: From microchips to macro trends — in this series we explore our rapidly evolving relationship with devices, social media, and all things digital.

According to new CivicScience data, Americans began “cutting the cord” and getting rid of traditional cable and satellite TV services at an unprecedented rate over the past seven-plus months. 

As it stood at the end of December, just less than half of U.S. adults who watch TV have now cut the cord (an all-time high) and only 28% are “not interested” in doing so (an all-time low).

And a record-high 58% of Americans now say their household subscribes to two or more streaming services.

Among those surveyed in the second half of 2021, age unsurprisingly seems to be the most important factor in determining whether someone is willing to cut the cord.

Speaking of streaming services, there may be a sea change underway when it comes to which service Americans perceive as having the best original content. At this time last year, 63% of Americans said Netflix had the best original content. Now, while Netflix is still the clear leader, that figure has fallen to 53% as other players – Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max – have gained ground.

And Netflix may continue to have problems in this regard in the future: younger U.S. adults (ages 18 to 34) are substantially less likely than their older counterparts to say that Netflix produces the best original content.

As more and more Americans cut the cord and ditch traditional cable and satellite services, you can expect the rising tide to continue to lift all boats in the streaming service sector.