Editor's note: Jason Wiese is senior vice president, director of strategic insights, Video Advertising Bureau.

According to findings from a recent Video Advertising Bureau (VAB) report, Reaching “Corded” and “Cordless” Audiences Through Video Streaming, the collective number of cord-cutters and cord-nevers has nearly doubled over the last three years – with cordless audiences now accounting for 44% of adults vs. 23% in 2018. 

While this shift began pre-pandemic, COVID-19 served as an accelerator, with 92% of cord-cutters and 86% of cord-nevers now actively streaming. In addition, 60% of cordless audiences have added a new streaming service over the last year.

Within this landscape, there is a growing incremental reach opportunity for marketers, particularly in their efforts to engage those consumers previously deemed hard-to-reach.

Cord-cutters and cord-nevers do not distinguish between linear or streaming. To them, all TV is TV, since viewers now habitually watch high-quality, TV-like programming across a variety of platforms and devices via different connections. People watch what they want, whenever they want.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that cordless audiences are attracted to streaming services that offer professionally produced programming featuring enriched storytelling and character development. People are gravitating towards platforms that provide a diverse, high-quality library of content of TV shows and movies, representing the classics and the new as well as exclusive originals. 

As connected-TV household penetration grows while services continue to proliferate, viewers are increasing their use of ad-supported streaming platforms – whether through TV network apps, Hulu or YouTube TV, or through a free ad-supported streaming (FAST) TV like Pluto or Tubi.

In fact, over one-third of cord-cutters and cord-nevers use a FAST service, reflecting increases of 38% and 48% ...