Today, if you were interested in watching something on your television, you could pick from the myriad of channels available at the press of a button. If you wanted to watch the news, you could see what’s happening locally and halfway across the world, and then instantly switch to watch the latest soccer match between countries, and then switch again to your favorite TV drama series. For a majority of TV channels, the only way to access them would be to pay a subscription for satellite or cable TV.
However, for a majority of TV channels, the only way to access them would be to pay a subscription for satellite or cable TV, and for those who don’t pay for these services, your range of selections has decreased by thousands of channels. Thankfully, with our technology, there is a solution: online streaming.
In fact, streaming has now overtaken traditional live TV, with 213.2 million people from the U.S. alone actively viewing online videos as a preferred method of video entertainment.
Digital video viewers in the U.S.
Percentage of U.S. internet users who watch online videos
|Number of online videos watched per PC viewer in the U.S.||229|
Number of unique video viewers on Google Sites in the U.S.
There have never been more ways to watch TV aside from paying for cable TV or subscribing to a satellite company before online streaming websites. As a result, online streaming has brought forth new competition to traditional TV, competing with services that allow you to watch nearly anything accessible on the World Wide Web.
An increasing number of people are becoming frustrated with growing cable bills and poor customer service, and enticed by the ever-improving digital alternatives, people are choosing to cut the cord and ditch their TV subscriptions. People are opting to online video streaming, and services and softwares that can provide these services such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime, Amazon TV, Google Chromecast, and more.
Despite these changes, there are still 100 million US households that shell out hefty sums of money each month for a bundle of TV channels — but the change in this industry is just getting started.
The future is bright…for online streaming
This current generation is the first of many to grow up with Netflix and Youtube and the like, and millions of children across the world have grown accustomed to being able to watch music videos, cat videos, and random clips from their favorite movies anywhere and anytime.
An entire generation has grown up with Netflix and Youtube, and millions are accustomed to being able to watch music videos, cat videos, and clips from their favorite movies anywhere and anytime. And this is just the growing trend of the shift from technologies. Networks and cable companies will have to adapt, or they will be the ones on the shorter end of the cord deal.
|Mobile Video & Video on Demand (VoD)||Values|
Mobile video revenue in the U.S.
Number of mobile phone video viewers in the U.S.
Netflix’s annual revenue
Because this industry is so large, it’s attracting other large companies and businesses to join in the opportunity. These streaming services will make it so that TV will not have to be bound by geographical boundaries any longer. Right now, people may be stuck with certain choices for cable, and even depending on your geographical location, you may not have access to certain channels that satellite companies such as DirecTV or Dish may offer.
Apple, which has an amazing track record of up-ending established industries and creating products that give customers great user experiences, could be the company that blows up TV as we know it. Apple is reportedly planning on joining the industry and may be working on an internet streaming TV service that will launch this Fall of 2017. This service will possibly include everything already in the market and comes with a package of two dozen channels and some of the major broadcast networks such as ABC, FOX, and CBS News.
As soon as Apple, or any other company for that matter, launches a nationwide online TV service, anyone with a Broadband Internet connection will be able to connect to the TV and will have an easier, cost-effective way to watch TV. Other online streaming services have already started their head-start to maintain at the top of their league. Hulu, a pioneer of the video streaming industry, is offering a new type of bundle to entice customers that will give a discount on Showtime’s new service if people buy through the Hulu platform.
And it’s not just the subscription service that will get better — the TV watching experience will also improve in the near future. Netflix, the largest subscription streaming service in the world, is becoming increasingly personalized to the user. Imagine a TV that knows exactly what you want to watch and when you want to watch it; that’s what Netflix is working on, and its sophisticated, innovative program allows it to do exactly just that.
Why everything is about to change
As more networks start to their programs directly to consumers, and as more technology companies get into the demanding industry, streaming will become even more mainstream than ever. Reliability on online streaming programs will improve, and more features will become widely available. In just a few years, online streaming will become the dominant preferred method of watching television programs.
The industry shift in focus may cause cable companies to grow concerned over dominance in the market and may have to start offering reduced, more flexible package deals to customers. These competitive pressures will force traditional TV companies to not only get more creative with their subscription plans, but also be forced to improve their customer service, technology, and even prices. They are left with a dilemma: to either reduce their service prices now or risk hurting their business growth and losing customers to online streaming.