Since the invention of the radio, families have gathered to hear both the news and their favorite entertainment program around a single technology. This has changed to the television set, which has since evolved. We first watched our shows in black and white, then color, then VHS and cable television, which was developed into DVD and satellite television. Now that television has metamorphosed once again, does it mean the death of the traditional television set and cable bundle?
The first to disrupt this process was the online streaming giant Hulu. Hulu offered online streaming of television shows for free. Viewers no longer needed to record their favorite shows through a television provider. They no longer needed to pay to watch these shows. This changed everything.
Because of the revolution of online streaming, premium services have now started to think about offering independent premium services. HBO announced they are creating HBO Now, allowing viewers to pay for HBO services without committing to a cable company. Cable companies would charge customers extra to add a premium bundle. Customers could not just select to pay for a premium bundle, they also had to pay for at least a basic cable package. Following suit, Showtime, Sony and Vox Media are in talks for similar plans.
The tides have officially turned. Online streaming is the way of the future. Netflix is also a factor in this streaming revolution. The low-priced streaming website offers a variety of television shows and movies, which are traded out seasonally. Netflix acts like the cable companies in cutting deals with television networks and movie studios directly to offer the content on their website, but this isn’t why Netflix is changing the game.
Netflix not only changed television by offering its own television series, but by creating critically acclaimed shows. Award winning series like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards created cult-like followings. Viewers could binge watch the entire season instead of waiting each week like a regular television series.
Next Netflix took an opportunity with the controversial release of The Interview. Major movie theaters around the country wouldn’t release the movie in theaters after terror threats. This opened the market for smaller venues, Youtube, Google Play, Amazon and Netflix to showcase the major motion picture. The online streaming services offered the movie for around $5, about half the price of a single movie ticket at major theaters. This was also the first time a movie was offered immediately on a streaming service.
These faster and easier alternatives to cable television will become more popular as the younger, tech-savvy generations enter the work force. We have grown accustomed to watching everything instantly and using a single technology to access all of our online tools. Online streaming is the way of the future and big cable companies are unable to compete with this growing trend.
Reviewed by Krista Kull