Will Streaming Eventually Make Cable Obsolete?

The time for cable TV is up. This is something we have all been hearing for a while now. With the rise of streaming services, the long-held legacy of the cable industry seems to be in a bit of jeopardy. This is evident from the massive loss of subscribers from pay TV’s domain, and the monumental increase in the number of cord-cutters over the last few years. Even experts predict that by 2030, the pay-TV market will have shrunk by manifold, leaving only a small percentage of traditional television subscribers in the pool. Why is that? The simple answer to this question is that people are tired. They no longer wish to be suppressed by an entity that siphons $200 out of their pockets every month, while giving only a sub-par and not to mention outdated service, in return. Streaming TV is a promising alternative and ridiculously affordable, to say the least. So, will streaming eventually make cable obsolete? Let’s find out.

Why Streaming TV is Better?

Streaming TV or online video streaming is a type of content distribution system that uses the internet to deliver television programming to people’s homes. It stands in direct contract to OTT, coaxial/fiber cable, and satellite television systems. It has a number of potential benefits, which make it extremely popular among the American viewership. These are…

Convenience: You can stream a movie, catch your favorite TV episode and see a live game as it unfolds by simply streaming it on the web. Any device that has internet access and is compatible with your chosen streaming platform can become a television screen for you. So, no matter if you’re at home or out about on the street, you can stream a video on your smartphone, laptop, tablet, or any other device with a Wi-Fi button. Cable may not give you this flexible convenience. 

Low-Maintenance: Tired of keeping up with set-top boxes, DVRs, and other equipment that your cable provider throws at you? Then, streaming will offer you a way out. For streaming TV, you only need a fast internet connection like Cox internet, a streaming service subscription from the likes of Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video, and a display of your choice that can be a smart TV or a regular one, for which you might need a streaming player or a gaming console. It’s up to you. 

Affordability: The average cable TV costs per month amount to $100 or so, depending on the kind of package you get. On the other hand, the average cost for a streaming TV plan stays under $20 a month only! If you add the price of high-speed internet to it, you’ll roughly get a figure of $60 – $70, which is still highly affordable.

Exclusivity: People always look for things that they can’t get on regular television, and it is for this reason that they remain unsatisfied with their cable services. Everybody wants a piece of exclusive content since FOMO or the fear-of-missing-out is very real. Streaming services provide just this kind of exclusivity through their original programming. Netflix has won multiple awards for its ‘Netflix Original’ movies and TV series, such as The Irishman, etc. You can easily stream this content online and stay ahead of the curve.

Scalability: When streaming TV first started, it only had a handful of video-on-demand providers, like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video (official website), Hulu, Sling TV, and others. After 2014, the real jump took place and the streaming market became saturated with up-and-coming services. Now, more and more media companies are investing in the streaming format, with HBO, ESPN, and NBCUniversal leading the front, though they still can’t compete fully with Netflix. So, the cable market falls behind streaming when it comes to scalability as well.

Nearly every American household has a streaming TV subscription of some sort, and this transition seems to be unsettling the cable moguls quite seriously.

Why Cable Might Hold On a Bit Longer?

Cable television has seen the worst. There is no doubt about that. Yet it has persisted over time and still manages to retain its 60% pay-tv subscriber base. One of the reasons why it might hold on a bit longer in a streaming TV scape is because of its constantly evolving, and self-sufficient infrastructure. In other words, cable relies on itself, while streaming depends on the strength of an internet connection to work. If the internet experiences a massive outage, you might be left with no other choice but to stare at a loading screen until the signals return. This way you might miss out on holiday-special programming, or fail to catch an ongoing game between your favorite teams. So, cable pulls, and it pulls effectivity.

Final Verdict

Will streaming TV render cable television obsolete? The probability of that happening might be strong, what with cable’s increasing fares and an obvious lack of exclusivity, but the demise of cable might not come about so soon, after all, since the cable is an industry that runs deep and is not so easy to uproot. We’ll have to wait and see.

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Ashley Macdonald
Ashley has recently joined the FeedsPortal content writing team and brings with her a wealth of journalistic experience, which we believe our readers will find extremely useful.

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