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Two kids watch cartoons online on an iPad tablet. Photo: Artur Debat / Contributor

"More customers are dropping cable TV as they turn toward streaming services like Netflix Inc., a fundamental shift in consumer behavior that was on display this week in painful earnings reports from cable and telecommunications companies," The Wall Street Journal's Shalini Ramachandran writes on the front page.

Amazing stat: "The upheaval in the pay-TV economy is stark. From the beginning of 2015 through the end of last year, nine million Americans have either cut the cord or chosen not to buy a traditional cable package when moving into new households, according to estimates from MoffettNathanson."

Behind the numbers: "As viewers flee traditional TV for streaming-video services, Netflix has arguably been the biggest winner, adding subscribers at home and abroad at a clip that has outpaced Wall Street’s expectations."

"Other tech companies are also angling to capitalize on consumers’ changing habits. Amazon.com Inc. now has more than 100 million customers for its Prime subscription service, which includes a video offering the company has been pouring money into, including a deal on Thursday to keep streaming NFL games."

  • "Google Inc. is ramping up its YouTube TV streaming service, an online bundle of cable channels that competes with the likes of Hulu Live and Sony PlayStation Vue."
  • "And Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc. have each set aside as much as $1 billion for original programming meant to lure more viewers away from traditional TV."

Go deeper

The week the Trump show ended

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Donald Trump was eclipsed in media attention last week by President Biden for the first time since Trump took office, according to viewership data on the internet, on social media and on cable news.

Why it matters: After Trump crowded out nearly every other news figure and topic for five years, momentum of the new administration took hold last week and the former president retreated, partly by choice and partly by being forced off the big platforms.

Pay TV's bleak post-pandemic outlook

Data: eMarketer; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on the Pay-TV industry, and with the near-term future of live sports in question, there are no signs of it getting better in 2021.

Why it matters: The fraught Pay-TV landscape is forcing some smaller, niche cable channels out of business altogether.

2 hours ago - World

Biden sets his sights on China

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images  

The new administration's first few moves and statements on China suggest that President Biden may continue some of the Trump era's most assertive policies.

Why it matters: China's severe domestic repression, its dramatic rise as a technological superpower, and its increasingly aggressive actions around the globe mean that the world expects the American president to take action.