Cord-Cutting 101: What is a Cord-Never?


We are all about “cutting the cord” here. That is to say, we love to present alternatives to television viewers in-lieu of their expensive cable subscription. We tell you how to watch TV with the use of antennas and streaming services so that you can save some money and “cut the cord” on cable.

But some people have stayed away from cable altogether. These people have decided that the world has many more viewing options outside of cable, and therefore they forego cable subscriptions altogether.

These individuals are known as “Cord Nevers”, and in this article, we will be taking a look at who exactly these Cord Nevers are and what the viewing habits of these individuals are to shed some light on another side of cord cutting.


As you may have guessed, a Cord Never is a person that has never signed up for a cable subscription in their life. Instead, Cord Nevers get their television viewing experience through the use of various streaming apps such as Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube.

According to a study conducted by GfK MRI, these Cord Nevers account for 9% of television viewers in the United States. This is actually one percent more than Cord Cutters, which make up 8% of the populace. In addition to this, the average age of a Cord Never is around 34 years old, with more than half of Cord Nevers being a part of the sometimes controversial “Millennial” generation.

So What do Cord Nevers Watch?

In opposition to traditional film and television, Cord Nevers get the majority of their entertainment from the free-to-use streaming service YouTube. With nearly half of the Cord Never community using the platform, it is far and away the most used service for these individuals, with Netflix and Amazon users trailing the pack at 39% and 25% respectively.

While the easily accessible content of YouTube does appeal to the majority of Cord Nevers, that isn’t to say that these individuals don’t enjoy some good, old-fashioned entertainment. In fact, among both Cord Cutters and Cord Nevers, Netflix show Orange is the New Black is the most popular series, with:

  • Fuller House
  • Stranger Things
  • Daredevil and
  • The Mindy Project

rounding out the top five programs for Cord Nevers.

While these viewing habits are very similar to Cord Cutters, Cord Nevers seem to shy away from more serious, darker dramas and documentaries, such as House of Cards and Making a Murderer, which both appear in the top five programs for Cord Cutters.

Also of note is that Cord Nevers are more likely to use OTT services than they are to use services that are a part of a bigger bundle. This explains why services such as YouTube, which is independent of any sort of cable subscription, get more use than a service such as CBS Now, which requires cable television to use.


Will Cord Nevers Ever Become Cable Users?

Interestingly enough, while most Cord Nevers (about 60%) are satisfied with how they currently watch television programming, they are open to at least trying out cable.

Of the group of Cord Nevers surveyed, 22% said that they may want to see what cable offers in the future. When it comes to Cord Nevers in the Millennial generation, this number increases to 27%. This is an awful large portion of people when you consider that the majority of Cord Nevers would rather use streaming services that have nothing to do with cable television.


So which group do you fall into? Are you a “Cord Cutter” who is looking to get rid of cable? Or are you a “Cord Never” who hasn’t so much as seen a cable box?

No matter which group you fall into, the fact remains. Great television gives us something to bond over and a common ground to agree on. This is something that you don’t need cable for!

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