Cord-cutters have long been a murky bunch, characterised by an aversion to traditional media and a desire to go digital, but a new Hollywood Reporter/Morning Consult poll suggests that many Americans simply find the cost of cable too high.

As many as 56% of the respondents to the poll said cable was unaffordable, while almost half (47%) said the same about satellite. The study was conducted from 18th to the 19th of October this year, and surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,201 Americans.

The answer, then, to the question of why so many Americans are cutting the cord and favouring digital channels, is very simple: they are doing it to save money. Compared to cable and satellite’s high perception of unaffordability, just under a fifth (17%) felt that streaming was unaffordable.

This is fundamental: for 90% of respondents, price was the most important factor in deciding which kind of packages or services to subscribe to.

“People are just homing in on affordability, especially younger consumers,” said Morning Consult VP Tyler Sinclair.

Scarier still is traditional TV’s slim chances of getting any lost subscribers back. And they are many: as WARC’s latest Global Ad Trends report on the rise of OTT TV found, a third of US OTT households (63.5% of the US TV total) don’t pay for cable or satellite TV. Of those, 18% have cut the cord.  And the THR/Morning Consult study found that 72% of cord cutters have little interest in returning to the corded life.

Sourced from The Hollywood Reporter/Morning Consult; additional content by WARC staff