May 25, 2017 Last Updated 11:43 am

Website for cord cutters launched by Wisconsin team: Cut The Cord

The website is design to provide recommendations for those customers fed up with cable TV providers who charge exorbitant fees and require multi-year contracts

One of the things I love about being a B2B publisher was that one could imagine publishing a magazine in just about any industry. My staff and I used to sit around drinking beers and wine after trade shows ended for the day, thinking up new magazines to publish, discussing the markets that had a need for a good trade publication, then returning to work the next day more committed than ever to producing a great trade magazine.

The truth of the matter is, though, that not every market is large enough, or diverse enough to support a magazine, or even a profitable website — even if the market seems hot. I remember a magazine being launched a number of years ago for the microtechnology field. It seemed like a great idea, things were getting small, after all. The magazine struggled after its launch, traded hands, and who knows if it is still around.

Below is an announcement for a new website called Cut The Cord, which, as the name suggests, is for those who have had enough of cable TV bills and want to finally be through with Comcast and AT&T.

It would be hard to argue that cord cutting isn’t a huge trend. Just in the past few months both Google and Amazon have introduced new video streaming options, knowing that there is a demand from consumers for options to subscribe to individual channels or smaller groups channels. But is there an actual market here to tap into?

The new website has been launched by Nick Perow, who when not editing the site, is also SEO Analyst at Sterling Commerce Group in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, which is odd since that company works with companies like Dish and Time Warner Cable. The director of marketing also works at the same company. (I’ve reached out to the company and will update this story should I hear back.)

So, what do you think? Is there enough of a market here? Can a new website make it based on affiliate deals with the various companies in the market? I guess we have some people who want to find out. (They certainly have a great URL, right?)

Here is the announcement for the launch of the new website Cut The Cord:

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wisc.  — May 25, 2017 — The Pay-TV industry was caught off guard by 2017 Q1 subscriber losses five times greater than Q1 of the previous year. The 762,000 cancellations fall just shy of 2016’s total loss of 795,500 subscribers. Prospective cord-cutters are looking to new services outside of traditional cable to meet their television needs. The year-end launch of DIRECTV Now, 2017 launch of Hulu Live, and the continued growth of Netflix and Sling TV, continue to erode the cable industry’s subscriber base.

As losses accumulate year-over-year, cable providers appear willfully ignorant to changing consumer needs. Findings from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) suggest that the number of “paid streaming TV video subscribers (68 percent of the population) has caught up to the number of paid TV subscribers (67 percent). With every quarter’s fresh injury, Big Cable has left itself vulnerable and unprepared for a potential mass exodus.

In 2015, a Statisica survey highlighted the top reasons consumers cancel their cable subscriptions:

  • Provider Price Increase 31.64%
  • Direct Subscription Available 16.43%
  • When more Sports Programming is available 8.79%
  • The channels I want are available OTA 8.55%

Acting contrary to those findings, cable companies increased rates by 3.5% in 2016. At the same time, direct subscriptions, sports programming, and cable-like channel packages, have all become widely available. If cable companies continue to stay-the-course, consumers will continue to cut the cord in ever increasing numbers.

Industry executives have remained relatively silent on the losses, citing “seasonality” despite historical Q1 growth. It’s possible that the silence can be attributed in-part to ESPN’s mishandled reaction to its own subscriber erosion late in 2016, where-in a massive exodus of 621,000 subscribers was incorrectly written off as a Nielsen reporting error. Quick to blame external factors, the cable industry continues to march out of step with consumers.

Playing Both Sides
While Cable companies stay the course, the hardest hit providers— satellite TV carriers DISH and DIRECTV, have approached the problem more directly, with each company launching its own streaming TV service. Both Sling TV (DISH) and DIRECTV NOW (AT&T) have established respectable user bases, offsetting quarterly losses to some degree. Unfortunately, transitioned subscribers aren’t as profitable. However, both companies have allowed themselves plenty of runway to establish their products before the market becomes over-saturated as similar services come online throughout 2017.

The rush to market may provide additional time to tweak and develop apps across devices, effectively using the early adopters as beta testers. While the extra time should strengthen the respective products, it may be to the detriment of renewals and subscriber growth. It is unclear whether this strategy will pay-off.

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