Streaming ends cable: Netflix, Hulu aid in killing off cable television

In 1979, rock band The Buggles claimed that “video killed the radio star,” in their first hit single. In 2018, it seems that streaming services are killing cable.  

Similar to the decrease of popularity of the radio beginning in the 1950s due to television, cable television subscriptions are starting to decline due to streaming services. In 2017, about 25 percent of United States did not pay for cable. During that year, 22.2 million Americans cut the cord with cable companies.  

Netflix has over 100 million subscribers. Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, six out of ten young adults use online streaming services, as opposed to cable television. Netflix is the most popular streaming service, reaching 75 percent of households with internet accessibility. Streaming platforms such as Hulu and Amazon Prime Video also hold a substantial number of subscribers. 

As a college student, it is difficult to keep up with a weekly show. Although a new episode premiers at the same time each week, often things come up that distract me from watching. According to Redcode, 55 percent of young people watch shows after they have already aired. If there is something I want to watch, I will record it and make sure to watch it when I have time.  

There’s a satisfaction that comes with binge-watching a series. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person watches two hours and 47 minutes of TV each day.

“One Tree Hill” aired from 2003 to 2012. Photo by: WikiMedia Commons

I cannot even count the amount of times I’ve said, “just one more episode,” and ended up watching an entire season of a show on Netflix. My most recent accomplishment being nine seasons of “One Tree Hill” in about three months. That is 187 episodes in about 90 days. This might not sound impressive but it is my personal best. 

Streaming has become such a common viewing tactic that it’s spreading across genres. From professional sporting events to award shows, live streams are giving anyone with internet access the ability to tune in to an event.  

I do not think there will be an end to cable television. While we have just about every TV show and movie available to stream wherever we want with no interruptions, there is an to excitement watching something when it airs. It all depends if you want to watch that movie or show week-by-week or wait a few months for it to be put on Netflix.

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