It’s hard to believe the world wide web is only about 30 years old and if you want to get even more technical, the root of the internet as we know it today began in 1969 by a government operated program called ARPA. However, for the past three decades… the ‘world wide web’ has become the mouth of everything we do.
Remember that old floor model TV that your parents or grandparents had in the living room? Well, we’ve come along way from those old things. In order to see extended television programming you had to attach a “cable box” to the back of the television. Then, magically…. you could watch HBO! It was literally a big box that sat on top of your television. We have come a long way.
Digital Television was a huge transition for most of the world. Television without an antenna was unheard of. Cable companies were popping up all over the place and your home was not a home without some kind of cable plan that offered you HBO, CNN, ESPN, BET, and all your new favorite alternatives to the basic television stations. In fact, your grandparents may be able to remember when there were just three stations: ABC, CBS, and NBC.
The evolution of Digital Programming was boosted due to the fast growing dependence on the internet for every factor of life. The internet killed the house phone. The internet eradicated typewriters. The internet has depreciated the local radio station. It has also depreciated cable.
The evolution of anything also expands the possibilities of its affiliates. If you can connect to it you automatically grow with it. Now, you don’t have to listen to just local radio. You can listen to stations from all over the world and there are thousands of internet developed radio stations. You don’t have to have a cable box anymore or a satellite device. Thanks to the internet, you can now carry only the stations you care about and they go wherever you go.
Streaming platforms are powered by the internet. Now that hundreds of millions of people around the world have access to the internet in their home, on their jobs, on their phones, computers, on the subway, and now even in cars… you can watch your favorite station from wheverever you are without having a satellite or a cable box. Streaming has simply murdered cable.
The most popular streaming devices are the Roku, the Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick, Apple TV, Android TV, Nvidia, Google Chromecast, and Tivo. These are devices which literally allow you to watch your favorite channels from anywhere. For example, Amazon’s Fire Stick is the size of a USB drive. It hooks behind most televisions. Whatever channels you have stored on your Fire Device will play from anywhere. Even the video games such as Playstation and XBox now affiliate with streaming television hubs.
So, why should you ditch your cable for streaming…
1. To Save Money.
Monthly cable plans are ridiculously expensive now. You will feel very appreciated in the first year of the plan with all the kickbacks they offer you to sign up. The reality of what you’ve gotten yourself into won’t hit you until the first year rolls around and then your bill increases. Many times your cable will cost more than your electric bill. The satellite and cable programs are all similar. They offer you low payment for maybe the first 6-8 months and then the truth hits you in the face. If you attempt to pull out before your two year contract ends you will legally be required to pay the remainder of the contract. They are hoping you are dumb enough to ignore the fact that you can get those same channels on a streaming device for about $20 per month as opposed to their hiked up rates.
Face it, you get a lot of channels with your cable or satellite but you probably don’t even watch five of them. The plans just sound good when you first see them. It’s like going to a buffet and you see five isles of food. You are not going to even eat everything on the buffet but they are charging you as if you will. Streaming devices give you the opportunity to search for only the channels you care about and store them as your favorites. No need to scan through 500 channels to find the five channels you actually care about and there is definitely no need to pay $100 or more per month for five channels. On a streaming device, you simply search for the ones you care about and lock them to your main screen. Done.
3. App Powered
Because streaming is app powered, you are simply paying for hubs (apps). Netflix is the largest streaming hub. For less than $10 per month you gain access to millions of movies. Hulu is another powerful hub. For less than $10 per month you gain access to almost every popular television program available. SLING is an immediate replacement to your wired cable platform. In fact, what makes Sling so great is the fact that at one time it was a box just like cable boxes but it has evolved with the digital and internet evolution. For $20 per month SLING gives you access to many of your favorite live TV channels including CNN, Lifetime, HGTV, BET, Discovery, FX, and many more. If you get a streaming device (mentioned in #2) and just add these kinds of apps you will decrease your cable bill by almost 75% each month and never miss your favorite show.
Because streaming is powered by the internet, the channels you love are distributed to you in the form of apps. These apps are all cloud based hubs, meaning they can work from multiple devices. So, not only would your SLING app work on your Fire Stick but you can see those same channels on your cellphone, tablet, or desktop. If you subscribe to HULU, you will not only be able to see your favorite shows on your television but you will also be able to view them on your phone, tablet, and any other internet operated device from wherever you are in the world.
5. No Hardware
The newer televisions are all called ‘Smart TVs’ mainly because they work similar to your cellphone. There are no wires or cords required for additional channels. The cable guy doesn’t have to drill a hole in the wall to run a wire from outside your home. There is no satellite dish to connect to your monitor. It simply works through your home Wi-Fi system. Turn your television on and search for your apps. Many of the channels you love are now pre-installed on your Smart TV through their apps. Smart TVs made by Samsung, LG, Vizio, Sony, Panasonic, Sylvania, and many others are dirt cheap now. Today, you can buy a Smart TV as low as $199 in most locations. Hulu, Netflix, and several others come pre-installed now on most Smart TVs. All you have to do is connect your account by logging in on your TV and you’re instantly ready to go.
The older way of programming is to have quality shows supported by sponsorships. Today, subscription based platforms have slowly become an easier way to sustain the platform while reducing the number of commercial interuptions per show, which is another reason streaming has become more popular. Anytime a viewer can subscribe to watch their favorite shows with less commercials (or most times none at all) is a recipe for success for the viewer and the network.
The Streaming Television Network apps are soaring. Netflix has 100 Million subscribers. Amazon’s Prime has 63 Million subscribers. Hulu has 12M subscribers. SLING TV has over 2M subscribers now.
As far as devices: Roku leads the way with 39M users. Google’s Chromecast comes in second with 36M users. The fastest growing device is Amazon’s Fire TV, which already has 35M users in it’s short time of existence. The Fire Stick was just released in November 2014. Apple TV has close to 21M users.
A Variety Magazine study reports 168M people will watch television on a streaming device in 2017, up 10% from 2016. As streaming continues to evolve, more streaming television platforms are launching each year. It is the future and the future is now.