Streaming Services Take Over Cable


Iveth Vanegas, Reporter


On Nov. 12, Disney released its own streaming service, known as Disney Plus, which offers access to Disney classics, as well as content from Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar and National Geographic. Since its launch, Disney Plus has gained more than 10 million subscribers. With yet another streaming service coming out, though, a bigger question arises: are there too many? They were intended to replace cable and reduce the overall television costs for consumers, but if consumers are paying for multiple, are they really saving money?

According to Quartz, an international news organization, the launch of Netflix proposed the idea of providing subscribers access to videos on demand, but it could be delivered quicker than other platforms, like cable companies CableOne and Mediacom. This proposition ushered in many more streaming services like Hulu, YoutubeTV and Amazon Video, which grants quicker access to videos that consumers want rather than paying for cable, which often gives customers channels they don’t even watch but still pay for.

“I think streaming services came out because since the world is advancing in technology, it would be easier to just have these easy access services rather than cable,” junior Abigail Acosta said. “These services have movies and shows that I love, unlike cable, which doesn’t offer what I would want to see.”

According to a poll by CNBC, an American news channel, close to 60 percent of Americans own at least one streaming service. Nearly half of those consumers said they were frustrated with the growing amount of subscriptions and services needed to watch what they want. According to TechDirt, a U.S. internet blog, as consumers are forced to pay for more and more subscriptions, they’re growing frustrated by the growing costs.

“With the amount of streaming services coming out, the idea that they’re meant to replace cable with an affordable price is defeated because they add up to a higher price,” junior Lanaeya Smith said.

Others believe that streaming services are still serving the purpose that they were created for, a cheaper and quicker way of watching television. Some streaming services have their own content that they have released. For example, Netflix Originals include Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black and Fuller House, something that wouldn’t be found on any other platform.     

“Yes, they are all in competition technically, but they are each unique. You wouldn’t find what Netflix has to offer on another service. Overall, it’s the diversity of services that is cool.” Acosta said.

According to a survey done by the Los Angeles Times, a leading source of breaking news, the average consumer subscribes to three streaming services. With the inescapable reality of streaming services, most consumers would prefer them over cable because of the popular shows they offer. According to Business Insider, an American financial and business news website, the most popular shows across streaming platforms in 2019 includes The Umbrella Academy, You, Stranger Things and The Mandalorian. 

Smith prefers streaming services because they are cheaper for her than cable, but overall, the cost depends on how many streaming services someone is subscribed to. According to Leichtman Research Group, a website that researches media and entertainment industries, the average cable news package costs $107 a month and if switched to a streaming plan, the price is cut in half, making it cheaper for you to watch TV. For example, if you were to subscribe to ESPN+, Hulu and Disney+, per month you would be paying $12.99 which is cheaper opposed to paying $85 a month for cable. 

According to PCMag, an American computer magazine, the average cord cutter in 2018 saved $115.33 per month after cutting their cable and switching to one or two streaming services. 

Markets and Markets, an economic research company, predicts that the enterprise video market will grow by a 20.1 percent annual growth rate, which increases from an estimated $16.34 billion in 2017 to $40.84 billion in 2022. This growth will continue into the future as more people prefer video content, and find cheaper ways to watch it.  

“There’s a lot of new shows coming out, and they offer more on the streaming services, and they come out faster than they do on cable, which attracts more people,” Smith said.

A survey by WestMonroe, a national management and technology consulting firm, found that 59 percent of our country’s consumers have already cut the cord and have switched to streaming services, a trend that’s sure to continue. 

“In the future I think streaming services will continue to grow because we are going to become more advanced,” Acosta said, “and with becoming more advanced, cable will be easily replaced with a cheaper, more productive way of watching TV.”