The Glory days of Cable TV might be coming to an end following the sustained adoption and acceptance of TV streaming services.
Recent statistics released by Nielsen show that close to 40% of all households in the US have adopted one or more of the many variants of video streaming services (Netflix, HBO GO, Hulu). The significant rise (up from 36% in 2013) is expected to follow this upward trend, and it’s not hard to see why; apart from the huge price disparity between cable TV and TV streaming services the last decade has witnessed significant growth in digital solutions. Faster broadband speeds, exponential growth in the mobile scene, and seamless integration of the different classes of electronic media have potentiated the rise of on the go entertainment (especially amongst millennials), a critical feature inherent in TV streaming services and lacking in cable TV.
It is quite clear that TV streaming has taken a dominant stand in entertainment delivery, a fact evident by the exponential growth and promulgation of streaming outfits like Netflix, Hulu, Sling, Amazon, etc. Even traditional Cable TV networks like HBO and CBS seeing the potential of TV streaming have incorporated one or more streaming services to their current lineup of cable TV channels.
But what actually sets TV streaming apart from Cable TV.
1) Flexibility like no other
With cable TV subscription comes a sense of commitment. Cable TV networks offer subscription packages that extend for a very long time (usually one year). During this active period, any attempt to unsubscribe or discontinue the package usually attracts a fine that is most times more expensive than the actual TV subscription. With Streaming services, the opposite is the case, as I can decide to subscribe to Netflix’s service at a meager sum of $10 and opt out at any point in time with fear of reprimand.
2) Pricing structure
Like I stated above for a price of approximately $10 you can get a monthly subscription to Netflix or any other streaming service for that matter. Cable TV, on the other hand, will set you back at least $44 each month. While some school of thought might argue that cable TV offers more value in terms of number of channels; the question is how many of those channels do you actually watch. From experience, very few people benefit from the overly extensive brochure of channels offered by cable TV networks
3) A personalized viewing experience
Most streaming platforms (detailed comparison of streaming TV services) allow users to modify the viewing experience to fit their specific needs. Users can subscribe their favorite TV shows to receive updates and alerts when new episodes debut. Using specialized algorithms streaming services will also suggest other shows and programs based on your favorites and search history.
With streaming services, users can hop from their TV, proceed to their laptops and virtually any mobile device to watch content, in stark contrast to cable TV, which showcases its content on just one platform, the TV. This versatility has afforded users access to on-the-go entertainment, where they can view content even when they are on the move using mobile devices.
5) Customer Service
For ages, one of the banes of cable TV was the customer service it accorded. Queries are most times not attended to, and even if there were required an extended period to resolve. This reputation is one majority of streaming services look to avoid. As such customer inquiries and queries are handled promptly, resolution of client issues whether software or infrastructure based also follow a speedy resolving pathway.
6) Bad weather is no longer an issue
Gone are the days where bad weather predates an interruption of content delivery characteristic of satellite-based cable TV. Because streaming services utilize the internet, the only concern for its users is decent bandwidth (and with some providers offering modems capable of reaching speeds of up to 400mb/s this is no longer an issue).
7) On-demand content
Unlike cable TV where shows are aired at specific times and feature a protracted schedule of sequential release of episodes, TV streaming allows you to watch whatever show at whatever time you deem fit provided your streaming service offers it. A feature that scores high points with binge watchers (like me)
Consequent of the giant strides witnessed in the field of mobile and 21st-century digital technology, it is quite clear that TV streaming is the entertainment portal of the future. Except cable TV incorporates a true game changer, the future looks bleak as TV streaming bolstered by an ever increasing subscriber base is set to take center stage in the field of content delivery.