Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash

For the first time, more people in the U.S. pay for a streaming service or internet video (69%) than subscribe to traditional pay TV (65%), according to a new survey of 2,003 consumers from December 2018 to February 2019 by the consulting firm Deloitte.

Only 10% of consumers streamed in 2009 but it increased to 55% last year. Pay TV subscriptions were above 75% for years.

The 2018 cord-cutting trend was most common among the youngest Americans, the survey found. Among those in Gen Z, currently age 14 to 21, 80% subscribe to Internet video while only 57% to pay TV. And among millennials, age 22 to 35, 88% subscribe to Internet video and 51% to pay TV.

Cord cutting refers to people dropping their cable or satellite TV in favor of online video alternatives like Netflix.  

Overall, 43% of all U.S. consumers subscribe to both pay TV and Internet video, Deloitte said. People who pay for online video usually subscribe to three streaming services.

There are over 300 video options in the U.S. in addition to the current market leaders Netflix, Hulu and Amazon‘s Prime Video.

Kevin Westcott, vice chairman and U.S. telecom and media and entertainment leader at Deloitte said that online video consumers could be experiencing “subscription fatigue” choosing and keeping track of their subscriptions and payments. Some subscribers are reportedly frustrated with the advertising overload.

The top reasons why they chose to pay for Internet video services were access to original programming (57%) and to avoid advertising (44%). Deloitte’s survey result is consistent with the findings of other surveys.

The rate of consumers dropping their cable and satellite TV packages was highest  in the last three months of 2018. MoffettNathanson Research reported that a net 985,000 customers cut their subscriptions with the largest providers.

The cord-cutting trend started decades ago with consumers dropping landline phones for mobile numbers. Now, it’s also happening to internet service. More people are going back to using an antenna to pick up free, over-the-air TV broadcast.

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