Cable has been around for decades. We’ve enjoyed the programming of our childhood; the Saturday morning cartoons, our grandparents watching the local news and our fathers yelling at the sporting events. Things have changed since then, Netflix has changed the way we watch television.
Streaming services on the Internet have become the go-to source of entertainment that meets all the criteria for the new generation of consumers. It is instantly gratifying, no waiting weeks for the next episode to come out, we can watch as much or as little as we want. The ability to pause and put it off for the next day, if we have the willpower, enables the viewer unlimited power. Content changes and we can pick what to watch instead of settling for what’s on.
But the most important thing about the streaming services is that they are cheap. Compared to cable services, which run anywhere from $25 to somewhere near $100 a month, streaming costs only $7-$8 with a couple more exclusive choices which cost $15. The cheapest of cable services are limited in the channels they offer which greatly limits the choices of shows that are on, and then there is still the annoying issue of commercials that make a twenty-minute show fill a thirty-minute time slot.
There are quite a few different streaming services and each of them offers something different, something that sets them apart from the others. Netflix has started making its own shows, Netflix Originals, which are well written and well produced. HBONow has a lot of the popular shows that people with cable services enjoy, but it is one of the pricier services. Shomi has a wide variety of shows and has some content that other services don’t have. Crackle is a free streaming service, but they have ads in order for them to offer that. The best part is that just about every one of the services offers a 30-day free trial which allows us poor suckers to sign up, start watching, and get sucked in.
The downside to having so much access to so many shows is the binge watching. Instead of sitting and watching that one episode we catch ourselves watching five, or the whole season. Even the younger generation of watchers are getting spoiled with the power of picking whatever they want to watch instead of dealing with what is available. If cable services want to survive in this ear they are going to have to step up their game and give the people what they want: cheap, ad-free, and choices.