“Cutting the cord” is on the rise in the United States.
In CivicScience’s data from August, 22% of U.S. respondents said they had completely ditched traditional cable or satellite TV services for streaming alternatives — up steadily from 19% in April.
But as the cord-cutting trend continues to grow, it remains to be seen which streaming services will benefit from the influx of new customers.
Certainly, live TV will continue to be part of the equation — news, sports, and many other programs can’t simply be released a season at a time like your favorite drama series. With this in mind, CivicScience recently studied consumer sentiment toward Sling TV, which offers various packages of live-streaming TV channels for $15-25 per month.
While the four-year-old company’s footprint is relatively small right now, many respondents in the August survey of nearly 2,000 U.S. adults said they intend to give Sling TV a try.
Unfortunately for Sling TV, the data show that favorability toward the service is fairly mild once users have tried it.
Who’s Using Sling TV, and Who Intends To?
There’s definitely a gender element at play here. Men outnumbered women 3-to-2 both among those who like Sling TV and among those who want to try it. Meanwhile, women accounted for almost two-thirds of those who don’t like it.
Parsing out responses by income level also proves interesting. Those who bring in more than $100,000 per year in household income were nearly four times more likely to be interested in trying Sling TV. Notably, though, this population isn’t any more likely to have tried the service to this point.
As far as age goes, there’s one clear dividing line: 55. Respondents younger than 55 years old were nearly twice as likely to have tried Sling TV already, and four times as likely to intend to try it.
Current Streamers Are More Interested in Sling TV
Hulu users are extremely interested in Sling TV, with 30% intending to try it. This is particularly interesting because Hulu offers its own live television service (Hulu + Live TV).
Similarly to Hulu, Netflix users were also more likely than non-users to have tried or be interested in Sling TV, though to a lesser extent. Notably, Netflix does not offer a live TV component.
Surprisingly, those who watch TV the most are actually less interested in Sling TV than casual watchers:
People who watch TV for two hours or less each day were more likely to have tried Sling TV, more likely to enjoy it, and more likely to be interested in trying it than those who watch TV more frequently.
And — to circle back to cord-cutting — it’s no surprise that those who’ve already cut the cord were far likelier to have tried Sling TV than those who only watch traditional TV. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the chart below is the rate of interest among those who’ve only started to cut the cord. (Maybe they’re just unscrewing the cord very slowly.)
Sling TV has a relatively small reach right now, but it’s attracting lots of interest among specific demographics. Intent to try Sling TV trends male, younger, and higher-income. Current streaming service customers are far more likely to have tried or to be interested in the service, though it seems those interested watch less TV on the whole.
If Sling TV is able to seal the deal with the demographics that are showing interest, it should be able to stake its claim to a fair share of the territory in the new world of cord-cutting.