The Cable Bill is One Expense Consumers are Reluctant to Cut

Your choices are: don’t cut your hair or lose cable? Now, which expense do you cut?

According to a study by Harris Interactive, many consumers are cutting back at the barber shop to save money. Buying generic brands and brown bagging your lunch were also popular ways to save money. However, one of the least popular methods was reducing the cable bill.

While 43% of polled consumers cited a reduction in the trips to the hair stylist as a way to save money, only 22% have cut back on their cable service. When it came to expenses consumers had not considered, cable was second to cutting back on telephone expenses.

Marketing Daily noted the surprising trend:

Despite the increased options for watching television programming (or content, to use the term du jour) away from the set, people are still reluctant to dump the box completely.

In its inaugural “Residential Pay-to-View” study, J.D. Power and Associates found only 3% of U.S. consumers who subscribe to either cable or satellite television services have completely “cut the cord” from those services in favor of other viewing options.

“It’s not the gloom and doom that was predicted a few years back,” Frank Perazzini, director of telecommunications at J.D. Power, tells Marketing Daily. “In the two- to three-year window, the current model is still viable.”

As would be expected, younger consumers were more likely to break with the pay television services than the older generations. Among Gen Y consumers, 6% said they no longer subscribe to a residential television service, compared with only 2% of Baby Boomers. (Generation X, not surprisingly, falls right in the middle with a 4% cutting rate.) That generational divide will be the area to watch in future studies, Perazzini says.

I was surprised at the findings. My cable bill was one of the first areas my family looked to save money. We replaced our cable with Netflix. The on-demand selection at Netflix is reasonable and there are few shows that we cannot find. While we don’t get to watch shows immediately when they come out, but we haven’t missed them.

So what about you? Are you the kind of person that will cut back on the barber, but not cable?

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