Approximately 95 million U.S households subscribe to some form of cable television. Since cable’s introduction to the consumer public, cable providers have generally enjoyed an increase in the number of subscribers. However, for the first time in decades, this trend may come to a standstill. Subscription video on-demand streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are quickly gaining ground and recent surveys have even shown that up to 40% of U.S households subscribe to one service or another. What may be even more surprising is the ever increasing numbers of households who are customers of a streaming service provider but who do not pay for cable television.
Although modern cable services are often bundled with internet services, the massive numbers of customers who are flocking to the streaming services should be nothing short of alarming for the cable companies. What was once seen as the cable companies’ dominate marketplace (aside from satellite companies such as DirectTV and Dish Network), is now a shared marketplace with providers who are able to cater to their user’s exact needs.
But what does this mean to the average consumer? The low cost of these video on-demand streaming services has resulted in the major cable companies offering more incentives in an attempt to retain or recruit customers. Despite what “incentives” some of these companies are offering, there are little indications that consumers are buying into the cable companies’ attempts to mitigate the impact that the streaming services are having on their customer base.
To further divest the cable companies of their customers, several of the major streaming services have started producing original exclusive content that can only be viewed through their services. Hit television series such as “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” are commanding such extraordinary viewership that it is hard for the networks to keep up in their offerings of unique and captivating television series.
In addition to the original content offerings that the streaming services have, the streaming services have opened up new opportunities for smaller or lesser known productions to be picked up as a television series. These productions, which may have otherwise gone unnoticed, are now being given the chance for their concepts to see the light of day and to be produced.
While the landscape of television continues to change, so does the way in which consumers are able to view and access the content they want.
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