Alternatives to cable TV hit critical mass as Netflix subscribers now outnumber cable owners
There have been numerous articles written and discussions made over how millennials are largely ditching the cable in favor of streaming entertainment. ¬†And when you add in the specific data regarding the millions of lost subscribers to one of cable televisions mainstays ESPN, then what perhaps may have been seen as a short-term fad has now fully turned into a long-term trend as ‘cutting the cable’ is foreshadowing the end of television as we know it.
With the advent of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, and even the growing trend of network stations putting their own programs online a day or two after their air on broadcast television, it was only a matter of time before the ability for people to pick and choose what they want to watch when they want to via online streaming would reach a critical mass, and signal the end of the cable television.
And as of June 16, it appears that day has arrived as new data shows that there are now more Netflix subscribers than there are individuals who purchase cable subscriptions.
Despite going all-in on Adam Sandler content ‚Äď a bizarre choice – Netflix has managed to continue growing its subscriber base, recently reaching a new milestone: It now has more paying customers than Comcast Corp., Charter Communications and all other US cable companies combined.
As Forbes reports, Netflix now has 50.85 million subscribers, surpassing cable’s 48.61 million. There is one caveat, though: Cable‚Äôs total doesn‚Äôt include minor cable networks, which could amount to 5% of total customers. – Zerohedge
Yet while Netflix and Hulu are the most recognizable streaming services, their domination over the online streaming sphere will not last as long as their predecessors in the cable industry since almost every month a new type of streaming service comes online to saturate the market. ¬†And if you count in generic streaming video options such as Youtube and Vimeo to the mix, where more and more content creators are putting their programming onto these types of platforms because of cost and freedom of license, then not only will the way people access news, sports, and entertainment change in the future, but it will also change the entire model of production for television and movies since original content will prove profitable to individual companies like Netflix and Amazon, but syndicated shows might barely be break even since there will be hundreds of services providing access to the same ones and where advertisers will be hard put to invest in all of them.
There may come a time when broadcast television de-evolves simply into a form of entertainment where all they provide is news, a few sporting events, and hours of cheap inexpensive reality shows while the real possibility of cable television disappearing into the annals of history is becoming more prevalent each month. ¬†And ironically this may be taking place because of their own arrogance and rigidity because when people screamed to them that they wanted to pick and choose their programming options, their response was to force consumers into buying hundreds of channels they never wanted to watch, which was a large reason behind the rise of streaming video services.
Kenneth Schortgen Jr¬†is¬†a writer for The Daily Economist, Secretsofthefed.com,¬†Roguemoney.net, and Viral Liberty, and hosts¬†the popular youtube podcast on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.¬†Ken can also¬†be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the¬†Angel Clark radio show.