Streaming services begin to overpower cable TV subscriptions

In the past few years, “cord-cutting” has become a popular term in the United States. The term refers to getting rid of cable TV subscriptions upon the realization that video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime cost less money. Cord-cutting has not been a major issue for cable TV providers to be worried about it yet, however, there has been a slow but steady decline of cable over the years. 

According to NCTA, The Internet and Television Association, 93% of American households had access to cable in 2012. That number has decreased to over 66% of Americans having cable and/or streaming services while 20% of Americans only use streaming services in 2019. Over seven years, there has been a noticeable decline in cable TV and a very noticeable increase in streaming services as many companies have begun to jump on the bandwagon. 

Streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu readily provide movies and TV without the 15-20 minutes of ads cable tends to give viewers. The only downside to these services is the lack of consistency. Both Netflix and Hulu have a constant input and output of content each month which keeps a good portion of Americans loyal to their cable because they know exactly what they can watch and when they can watch it. However, as time goes on more of these networks that are received on cable are also creating streaming services of their own. For example, Disney plans to launch its own streaming service under the name “Disney+” in November. This is a big move for both Disney and the streaming community as Disney owns the rights to some of the biggest franchises such as Marvel and Star Wars. 

The decline of cable TV could also be due to the new generation of teenagers and young adults. A survey done by Deloitte Insights shows that 88% of Millennials and 77% of Gen X have at least one streaming video service while the older generations are significantly less likely to. A major reason for this is the amount of social media consumption by the younger generation. If it seems like the majority of the world is watching this one show on Netflix, then one may feel pressured to watch this show in order to feel included which ultimately leads to the growing consumption of these streaming services. 

As the decline of Cable TV continues, paid streaming services will likely become the norm in the consumer society of America. Cord-cutters are only just the beginning of a world devoid of cable TV and it is coming sooner rather than later.