How Streaming Took Over Cable

Streaming TV

Is Streaming Taking Over?

When was the last time you watched live TV? I’m not talking about pay-per-view events or watching weekly-released shows or news channels, but actual television via cable. The past decade has seen a massive jump towards streaming, with cable television being slowly phased out. “Video killed the radio star,” Well, streaming has definitely taken over the previous cable star. 

Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, these are just a few names of some streaming networks and over just the past year have we seen so many more launches. Streaming is taking over the video force, and not quietly. 

Broadcast television and streaming services used to be hand-in-hand, with streaming services providing past seasons of shows to all, garnering hype for new seasons to come. However, over time, people forget the broadcast network name and attribute the show to the streaming service they first watched it on. They wait around for full seasons to be released at once, rather than open a cable subscription and watch weekly. 

Streaming services have also taken to release their own original programming, with Netflix being the best example of this. Netflix has released original shows, movies, and even taken old shows from their original networks to release newer seasons under its title. 

Why Streaming ?

Streaming Services

Why streaming? Streaming offers ease of access. With the portability of smartphones, anyone can access their streaming services anywhere they have an internet connection. No longer burdened by a television or home setting, people can watch whenever and wherever. Cable tried it with On Demand programming, but the household name of popular streaming services makes On Demand irrelevant. 

Streaming services also tend to offer a greater variety of programming options. There are old shows and movies that hit people right in their nostalgic hearts. There are new up-and-coming options that match the trends of nowadays (I’m looking at you, superheroes). There just is so much that makes streaming a better option than cable, at least programming-wise. 

Streaming has also been historically cheaper, with less contractual obligations. People can cancel their subscriptions whenever, and with less hassle.

The Death of Cable

Death of Cable TV and streaming takeover

With cable no longer being the breadwinners of the entertainment industry, distributors are looking more and more at streaming services, skipping cable altogether. The rise of streaming services, with no end in sight, only means that there will be the inevitable death of cable. Even previous big name cable networks are turning to streaming services, offering “premium” subscriptions on top of the streaming subscription. This way, you reap the benefits of streaming, as well keeping your own original programming. 

Cable networks have already seemed to give up. They stream their previously popular shows for hours on end, and focus their efforts on the original programming that are also on streaming services. Cable has turned into “if it’s on I’ll watch it”, making it the elevator music of entertainment. 

While this death does seem inevitable, cable isn’t gone yet. Some fear that the abandonment of cable is a waste. Cable can still be used as a great advertising method. Rather than focus on chasing streams, maximize profits by changing up the role of cable. Create distinct brands and programming options that separate cable from streaming. Instead of sharing programming, make new ones and keep them apart. 

While we do not know the future and cannot predict necessarily where the road will take us, we hope that cable finds its way back into the homes and hearts of many.

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