During the past few years, one of the biggest changes to have taken place is the growth of video through the internet. Only 15 years ago, people used to have to wait for hours (potentially) for a music video to load just so it could be watched. Now, a little more than a decade later, streaming services are posing a major threat to cable giants that have enjoyed something that mirrors a trust. This has led to people starting to “cut the cord,” or part ways with their cable providers. One of the biggest reasons why this is happening is that there is now an alternative that wasn’t present before. This has given rise to something that is usually called the streaming wars. It is important to take a look at just how we got to this point in the world of entertainment.
For more than 50 years, cable TV has been one of the focuses in the world of entertainment. The first cable TV stations hit the airwaves back in the 1950s. Some of the most popular TV shows at the time were I Love Lucy and All in the Family. It was just basic cable for the first few decades, with the biggest evolutions being the growth of color TV and the world of sports. Then, in the 1990s, digital cable appeared for the first time. By the year 2000, the rates of cable subscriptions were dropping for the first time. The growth of satellite dishes really put a dent in cable TV. DVR became a major issue as well, as cable companies and the TV shows that produced their shows realized that ads were not going to be as big of a revenue generator as they were in the past.
Now, streaming services have taken a major bite out of cable subscriptions. The growth of new options such as Replay TV, along with the growth of other capabilities such as Android TV Launch Control, have only hurt cable TV even more. For example, some sources have indicated that nearly 25 percent of all homes are going to remove traditional TV from their monthly services by the year 2022.
Streaming services first became an option in 2005. This was Netflix. Few remember the era when Netflix used to mail DVDs to people’s houses because now they are the dominant force in the world of streaming services. There is some competition to note from options such as Hulu and Apple TV. Even Disney has gotten involved in the streaming wars; however, the ability to watch content anytime, anywhere has changed the behavior of consumers. If cable TV is not able to adapt to these major changes, it will not survive.
Clearly, TV has changed. It will be interesting to see how it evolves moving forward.