Article | Journal of Economics & Management Strategy | Summer 2017

Measuring Consumer Preferences for Video Content Provision via Cord-Cutting Behavior

by Jeffrey Prince and Shane Greenstein


The television industry is undergoing a generational shift in structure; however, many demand-side determinants are still not well understood. We model how consumers choose video content provision among over-the-air (OTA), paid subscription to cable or satellite, and online streaming (also known as over-the-top or OTT). We apply our model to a U.S. dataset encompassing both the digital switchover for OTA and the emergence of OTT, along with a recession, and use it to analyze cord-cutting behavior (i.e., dropping of cable/satellite subscriptions). We find high levels of cord cutting during this time and evidence that it became relatively more prevalent among low-income and younger households—suggesting this group responded to changes in OTA and streaming options. We find little evidence of households weighing relative content offerings/quality when choosing their means of video provision during the timespan of our data. This last finding has important ramifications for strategic interaction between content providers.

Keywords: Technology; Service Delivery; Consumer Behavior; Television Entertainment; Service Industry; Media and Broadcasting Industry;


Prince, Jeffrey, and Shane Greenstein. "Measuring Consumer Preferences for Video Content Provision via Cord-Cutting Behavior." Journal of Economics & Management Strategy 26, no. 2 (Summer 2017): 293–317.