Nomadic broadband to catch up with home usage, pay TV to suffer

Before wandering people with notebooks and smartphones were connected to the world thanks to those other magical invisible waves found inside coffee houses, the word “nomad” had a much different connotation. Now the term has come to describe just another way we consume online content: anywhere but home.

New research from The NPD Group says the number of people watching videos via nomadic broadband and on-the-go will rise drastically in the next few years. When combined with the domestic numbers, this could also negatively impact pay TV providers who are already under assault by subscription-based online streaming services like Netflix and Hulu Plus.

Nomadic broadband to catch up with home usage, pay TV to suffer

Citing research turned up by its own “Connected Intelligence” service, the researcher predicted home broadband video users will top 175 million users in 2015. Just trailing will be the broadband nomads that opt to watch videos sitting in a coffeehouse or bookstore; they’ll number 154 million in the same time frame. Current estimates place the latter at under 20 million.

Mobile broadband users who consume video outside both previous locations should also see a boom, says the group. While just 6 million strong now, the number is expected to reach 77 million by 2015.

Ross Rubin, NPD Executive Director of Industry Analysis, believes the increase in home broadband usage numbers will be led “predominantly” by Blu-ray players and Smart TVs. An increase in the latter, suggests Linda Barrabee, NPD Research Director, could also lead to a similar rise in “cord shaving” – a euphemism used to describe cutting back on pay TV due in part to other options.

“The reduction in pay TV is really just a way for consumers to cut back on their monthly entertainment bills, for now,” said Barrabee. “It actually sets the stage later on for broadband video usage to grow as consumers get back into the premium content market but look for less expensive alternatives.”

The NPD survey revealed just 4% admitted that they cut the pay TV cord completely, with slightly higher statistics for those who had already rejiggered their current spending habits and those who stated they would do so soon (nine and 11%, respectively).

Earlier this month a report from The Diffusion Group painted a much more grim picture, finding that the number of people who say they’ll pull some pay TV services solely due to a Netflix subscription doubled over the past year – a trend the research firm believes may continue.

A pay TV exodus isn’t altogether likely, but cable bigwigs are certainly taking notice.

Are you more nomadic in your broadband usage, or are you strictly a stay-at-home type of person? Let us know in the comment section.