Internet is something which is found in almost everything today. From intangible services to tangible gadgets, the internet is part of every major technology today. That is because the internet itself is a very flexible tool that allows it to seamlessly integrate into other technologies and gadgets. This unique adaptability has given a major advantage to the internet and is probably the only thing that has prevented this technology from going obsolete.
The inclusion of the internet in different things made the entire human civilization addicted to it. Mostly internet has acted as a catalyst to boost the functionalities of many existing technologies. Plus due to its adaptability, it slowly influenced every walk of life and now every major field in the world has a hint of the internet in it.
There is no other field that was benefitted from the internet in such a way as what it has done for the entertainment industry. There were shock waves in the entertainment industry after the integration of the internet, the after-effects of which can still be felt. Where the arrival of the internet was a blessing for a few but proved to be fatal for many others. Because in some areas internet enhanced the existing technology and opened new avenues of entertainment while in other places it closed full-fledged running businesses.
The unfortunate victims of the internet were the home media industry which was a flourishing sub-industry in the bigger entertainment sector. After the arrival of the internet, it started taking over this industry with streaming platforms and as of now the home media industry is completely shut, and a billion-dollar company like Blockbuster that relied on physical home media e.g DVDs is out of business.
However, the internet is not done yet and now has the eyes on another sub-industry in the entertainment sector, the cable TV industry. With technological advancements, the internet-based streaming platforms are growing day by day both in content variety and consumer base. Now there are even platforms that allow viewers to stream live TV channels.
The combination of streaming services like Netflix, and live TV options like Hulu+ is becoming a direct threat to cable TV as with countless options they are converting the cable TV users in their favour. However, we prefer a regular watcher to go with a combination of both these services since streaming has not yet reached the point to completely take over cable TV. Users looking to get the best of both worlds should go with Spectrum TV and internet bundles through which they can not only get their favourite TV channels, but high-speed internet to quench their thirst for streaming as well.
Netflix and the Popularity of Streaming
The popularity of streaming services is increasing day by day. This trend started in 2011, the year which marks the birth of Netflix, the world’s biggest streaming platform. With the arrival of Netflix, a majority of people were introduced to a whole new library of regional and international content.
Something which they were unaware of before due to the limitations of cable TVs. As cable TVs were marred by censors and government restrictions that restricted them from showing a broader content library to their viewers. However, a platform like Netflix wasn’t under such jurisdictions and was free to air anything from any part of the world. Not only this, but another major advantage of Netflix came in the shape of affordability, as Netflix subscription was available for only a few dollars as compared to expensive cable bills going up to hundreds of dollars.
Apart from a vast content library and low costs, another advantage this streaming platform had was portability which allowed users to watch their favourite type of content anytime, anywhere on the go as there was the option to download the Netflix app on any mobile and tablet. Since in this fast-paced society nobody had time to stick to their TV screens for entertainment that is why this portability option was also welcomed by people with open arms. Soon a platform that started with just a handful amount of content and few users grew to become one of the biggest streaming platforms in the world.
The current subscriber count of Netflix currently stands at 222 million active subscribers, with a net worth of more than 170 billion. This clearly showed that Netflix had struck a goldmine through their subscription-based business model and soon many giants of the entertainment industry stepped in with their own streaming services like Disney, Amazon, and Warner Bros.
Cord Cutting and Post Pandemic Era of Streaming
By the year 2016, there were many streaming services and an average consumer had an idea of what streaming was and its countless benefits. These huge benefits of streaming and countless choices that were present started a shift in consumer behaviour. In the aftermath of this shift, people were ditching their cable TV subscriptions in the favour of streaming platforms.
Soon this became a full-fledged trend which was named cord-cutting. However, it was prevalent as early as 2016 but the factor that skyrocketed the pace of this trend was the pandemic. Because before, people were only cutting the cord for a better option, their move was entirely based on the perspective of choice. However, all this changed after the pandemic when cord-cutting was done out of necessity and desperation.
When the pandemic hit it affected various aspects of life, the most damaging aspects were the health and economy sectors. As the virus affected the health of people, while the protocols enforced to protect the people devastated the economy. Suddenly many were out of their jobs and inflation was at an all-time high. This forced people to resort to cost-cutting and get rid of additional expenses.
Since the internet was being used for many important tasks like work from home and online classes, the only other major expense was cable bills. So people decided to get rid of their TV subscriptions and resorted to online streaming platforms as they were cost-effective and worked on the internet, a service that many already had. Plus with the closure of cinemas, these streaming platforms became the main medium to watch the latest movies, another move that pulled a significant amount of customers.
After the pandemic the trend of cord-cutting is on the rise, the number of people adopting streaming platforms is at an all-time high. While the number of cable subscribers is reducing drastically. It is estimated that at least 55% of US households are going to completely shift over to the streaming model by the end of 2022. While another study suggests that cable TV market share is going to reduce to a mere 20% by the end of the decade. These are alarming number and clearly suggests that the cable industry is dying. However, the features we discussed in this article and the systematic rise of streaming clearly indicates that streaming is an overall improvement over the traditional cable TV setup thus this takeover was imminent and is already at its prime.