Is Online Video Streaming Potentially killing the traditional cable television?

In the age of instant gratification, we live by the rule “here and now” these days. Be it online ordering of food or riding a cab when and where required, companies are working hard to fulfil our desires. And now we want entertainment on-demand because watching TV shows at the given time is too mainstream for us. With the soaring number of users turning to online video streaming we can only wonder if the end of traditional cable tv is near.

The rise of online streaming has led 22.2 million American adults to cut the cord to cable, satellite or telco TV service in 2017. This number can be unsettling . Especially for the pay television industry as the number of subscribers shifting to SVOD services is only escalating, with an increase of 2.4% per year. With subscription videos taking over, Netflix tops the domain with 117.58 million users, followed by Amazon Prime video with 80 million users and Hulu with 32 million.

On-demand videos

On-Demand video streaming statistics

About 61% of the American adults aged between 18-25 years say that their primary way of watching video content is via some online streaming service, as compared to 31% who watch mostly via cable or satellite and only 5% who mainly watch with a digital antenna. While the number of digital video viewers in the united states is expected to reach a 232 million count alone, its expected to reach an 800 million count worldwide.


On-demand videos vs TV

Media Preferences by age

Live video streaming video market is expected to hit $70 billion by 2021. The top platforms that viewers are using to view live videos include Youtube, Facebook live and Snapchat live videos. Millenials are the biggest group of viewers and creators of live online content- 63% out of which admit watching live online content and 42% admit creating some sort of live video content.

What is making online video streaming preferable anyway?


Any video, any time

One of the most obvious reasons why people are turning to online videos is the ease and the control they have on what they want to watch and when they want it. They can watch anything they want as many times as they want, skip or repeat any parts of the video. Unlike the traditional TV, that provides content, based more on the geographical location. Online video streaming gives the freedom to view whatever video content there is worldwide. So, one has way too many options to what type of content they want to view.


Watch videos without burning your pockets

The cost of watching video content online can be quite meagre as compared to the TV subscription costs. There are plenty of free videos online. You only pay with money for the broadband and your patience for the spams. But spam and ad-free high-quality videos on websites like Netflix do charge for a subscription. But they are not as much as one might pay for the cable/satellite television subscription. Hence, making online video streaming more affordable than pay television. While basic entertainment packages with 155+ channels like Animal Planet, CNBC, Cartoon Network is $40/month, a subscription with over 325 channels including the premier ones like HBO, STARZ and Cinemax can go up to $110/month. On the other hand, even multiple subscriptions of on-demand video channels can be more affordable. With websites like Netflix with the standard package worth $ 9.99/month, $ 7.99/month of that of Hulu and $8.25 for Amazon Prime is still a better buy since you get to watch everything according to your wish and that too at lower prices.

Fewer Interruptions In Your Favourite Shows

Many of us are not the biggest fans of the advertisements in between our favourite shows. While escaping the advertisements altogether might not be possible, but the online experience does ensure fewer and shorter interruptions. Free online videos on websites like Youtube do have some advertisements but doesn’t provide a complete advertisement free experience. This is where on-demand video services come to the rescue. Not only they provide high-quality video content of our choice, they also don’t have interruptive, unwanted adverts. Hence, enhancing the overall experience of watching our favourite shows. And guess what, they don’t even have intervals.

Take Your Entertainment With You

You can literally take your favourite shows anywhere with you. The online video streaming works on every device. Be it your mobile phone, your tablet, laptop, PC or even smart TV. All you need is a good internet connection. With that, you can watch your favourite movies or shows whenever, wherever you want.

Television has been the primary entertainment source for most households for years. Hence, cable/satellite TV industry is understandably worth millions of dollars. But with competitors like Netflix, Amazon Prime video and Hulu in the market, the norm of cable TV being primary entertainment source is being challenged. In a recent survey, it was suggested that cable TV is now being seen as an old-fashioned medium. Most of the respondents aged between 16-24 accept being more associated with online streaming than cable TV. All these trends project a steady decline of cable TV users in the coming years. While the end of traditional cable television may seem near, its fate is yet to be decided. Although the online video streaming is posing a threat to cable television, it may take a few years for complete adoption of online content and replacement of the billion dollar industry.

March 7, 2018



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