Cable Companies are Shifting to the Internet

A hold that the latest phenomenon, streaming video, is getting of people is becoming firmer every day. Statistics reporting how many people are cutting cords with cable television amply demonstrate that soon a connected TV will be omnipresent. An increase in time people now spend watching movies or videos on internet is so big that analysts have no doubts about the future of our television: all TV will ultimately be delivered over the internet. Consider statistics, if you still think that the old cable television will persevere.  As many as 85 percent of the audience in the USA watch videos online; more than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube every day. A number of cord-cutters has grown dramatically since the end of 2013. If then Netflix had boasted 44 million users, in 2018 it had over 137 million streaming subscribers worldwide, 58.46 million of which were from the USA. Comcast, an American telecommunication conglomerate, has 29.8 million subscribers who, despite the company’s notorious throttling, still manage to enjoy TV shows and movies with the help of the Xfinity VPN.  And analysts predict that in 2019, the quantity of people saying good bye to the traditional television will become even greater.

Reasons for leaving the traditional television behind are multiple. Several of them will suffice to show why cable companies consider shifting to the internet. However fond of cable TV some people might be, streaming gains popularity, because it allows them more flexibility. With cable companies, people need to sign annual contact, termination of which costs them money. No such obligations are imposed on customers by streaming companies. People can sign up for streaming services and cancel them whenever they feel so inclined. No fee is paid either. By such a simple action as logging into their account, viewers can stop or resume their subscription without explaining their decision to anyone. Causing less hassle to their subscribers, streaming services definitely win on this count.

Streamline television also wins because it is more affordable. Cable television is not cheap: an average cable package costs $105 dollars a month. There are also fees and taxes that increase its price. Considering that the average annual U.S. household income is about $50,000, paying more than $100 for entertainment is expensive for many families. The monthly fees for internet streaming services are way cheaper. It is possible to sign up for Netflix or Hulu Plus for less than 10 dollars. Whereas cable providers offer customers fixed package deals, Netflix and Hulu Plus give a rich array of different packages whose prices vary from $8 to $20.

Unlike the traditional cable TV, streaming services let people customize their viewing experience.  After subscribing to their favorite shows, viewers start receiving alerts to their new episodes. Those of them who experience the embarrassment of riches and do not know which show to choose are also sent recommendations. Streaming services carefully analyze viewing histories and, based on their conclusions about individual tastes, comply a list of movies and shows considered potentially attractive to each customer.  

Viewers also prefer streaming services, because with them they can indulge in binge watching. With the cable TV, movies, shows, and programs are scheduled. This obliges viewers to organize their lives according to a given listing. If a particular show is airing, say, at 7 pm, people need to rush from work and arrive home on time, if they do not want to miss it. Streaming services let people choose what to watch, giving them access even to those shows that are no longer on air. Customers also choose when to watch their preferred shows or movies. What viewers find even more exciting is that they can stream entire seasons in rapid succession. Shows or movie series that they watch on the cable television in multiple installments during months or even years can be binge watched with digital streaming within a day or two uninterruptedly. Many viewers get addicted to marathon viewing. Doctors may condemn such practices as demoralizing and unhealthy, but binge watching is the reason why viewers find digital streaming compelling and why they subscribe to streaming companies in the first place.   

Movies and shows watched on the internet are not cluttered with advertisements. On the cable television, by contrast, the number of ads per commercial breaks has lately substantially increased. Users of the cable television are obliged to listen to numerous not personalized advertising campaigns, which they cannot bypass unless they install a DVR. On the web, ads are personalized and brought to minimum: people view half of ads that they get in an hour of cable TV. Knowing how viewers detest advertisement breaks, many companies such as Hulu and Spotify, for example, offer a subscription without them. Though more expensive, advertisement-free subscription allows people enjoy watching shows without annoying interruptions.

Customers prefer such streaming companies as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video, also because they offer their own original content. Several years ago, Netflix decided to end its dependence on movie and television studios by launching its own movie series. The company rightly reasoned that original content would give it leverage over its supply chain of content providers. After serious analytical investigations into people’s tastes, Netflix concluded that a movie series belonging to the genre of a political thriller, directed by David Fincher, and starring Kevin Spacey would cater to its audience’s wishes and would attract even more subscribers. The success of their first series, the House of Cards, that continued for 13 seasons was spectacular. It generated not only a loyal audience but also imitators: Hotstar and Amazon Prime Instant Video created their own original series and, in so doing, increased the popularity of digital streaming among people.

There will be no cable companies soon. Television will come to people on the internet, since streaming is a qualitatively better version of it. Viewers are declaring their firm preferences for digital streaming, and those cable companies that still cling to a coaxial cable will need to adjust themselves to the popular demands.