Streaming Services Threaten Cable TV

The popularity of streaming services grows among TV-watchers

The popularity of streaming services grows among TV-watchers

Stephanie Tran, Website Editor

Nowadays, the power of the internet has taken over the world. The internet’s influence is more vast than we think, and one example lies in a casual source of everyday entertainment – television. Ten years ago, people had to sit down at a certain time of day to make sure they wouldn’t miss their favorite program. Now, they just have to turn on any of their devices, navigate a search bar, and boom – that program’s title and catalog of episodes pop up. Cable TV seems to be a thing of the past, but just how true is that?

Just look around your community; how many people stream instead of using cable TV? Chances are, most pay for a service like Netflix or Hulu. Data from the firm Deloitte shows that more people subscribe to an “internet video streaming service” at 69%, as opposed to the amount of people who pay for cable at 65%. This isn’t a big difference at first, but it’s important to realize that the number of people who stream has increased by 10% in 2019.

So there’s a difference in numbers between the two services – why? The easy answer is that people obviously prefer to stream with the internet. The same study from Deloitte dives further into this subject. The two top reasons for people switching to streaming are to consume original programs (57%) and avoid advertisements (44%). Thinking about it, streaming services offer strong incentives for people to subscribe. After all, nobody wants to be left out of an interesting, exclusive show, and some advertisements can honestly be tedious to come across constantly. Cable TV offers the exact opposite as channel programs can sometimes be found elsewhere, and ads can often feel as if they’re dragging on longer than they should be.

Cord-cutting means to leave cable TV. Often, this means switching to streaming platforms

As it stands, the power of streaming is strong – it’s portable, efficient, and convenient. However, its influence might be coming to a standstill. Harrison Weber of Fast Company states that Netflix – an extremely successful streaming company – is meeting its end when it comes to pulling cord-cutters (those who quit cable) into their hands. The reason is simple: so many of its target audience has already converted and there’s hardly an audience left to gain. ┬áThe scene looks bleek for cable TV, but the stagnancy of streaming might create future difficulties. In order to grow, streaming services will have to reach even higher–for example, appealing to international audiences, adjusting subscription prices, and even catering to those who don’t even pay to watch anything at all.

It’s safe to say that streaming has successfully dominated cable in modern times. Even if there is a bit more wiggle room for this service to grow, stagnancy may still be inevitable. With new technology, various services will come and go; that’s the way things work. So, while streaming might be the internet’s current hot topic, it’s certainly possible that in the future, a new development will wipe it away. Thus, the cycle of entertainment, convenience, and business continues to run.