Do We Need Cable Anymore?

Do We Need Cable Anymore?

Brianna Noto, Editor

It is the age of streaming music, TV shows, and movies. Services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Now allow users to stream what they want, when they want, most of the time without commercials or ads. It seems that cable just can’t keep up anymore.

With prices as low as $10 a month, and endless on-demand shows and movies to choose from, it’s no wonder that cable TV is in decline. According to Deloitte’s 2018 Digital Media Trends Survey, about 70% of cable TV subscribers say that they do not feel they are getting their money’s worth with their cable plan, and about 56% of cable subscribers only keep their cable plan because it’s bundled with their internet. In 2017, 24.9 million people cancelled their cable subscriptions and in 2018, that number went up to 33 million people.

Viewers do not need to rely on cable to watch their favorite shows anymore. Almost anything can be found on streaming services, even the nightly news. So, not only can viewers save money by quitting cable, they can do so without giving up their favorite programs.

Streaming services are also more user friendly. With cable, viewers have to shift through hundreds of channels that they may not even use before they find what they’re looking for. Streaming services offer much easier search options and allow viewers to add shows and movies to their list so they won’t have to search for them later.

Portability is a huge advantage of using streaming services. With a smartphone or tablet, subscribers can watch their favorite shows and movies where ever they are as long as there is an internet connection. Some services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video allow users to download content so they can watch it on the go without a connection.

Another benefit is that users watch less TV. With cable, viewers may channel surf or watch whatever is on at the moment. When using streaming services, they turn the TV on with intention, usually knowing exactly what they want to watch.

While there are an abundance of pros to cutting cable and relying solely on streaming services, there are a few cons as well. New content shows up on streaming services 24 hours after it airs on cable. Programs such as the nightly news and The Voice are much more relevant when they air real-time. Viewers are also prone to spoilers. People will be buzzing about an episode in person and on social media a whole day before it shows up in the Hulu queue.

Internet is required to be able to use any streaming service and unlike cable, bundling TV and internet is not an option. High speed internet is essential to a positive viewing experience and the cost of acquiring it is definitely not low. Slow internet can really hinder the streaming experience and make for a great deal of frustration when it comes to quality of the stream and constant buffering.

Finally, there is minimal sports content available. While this doesn’t matter to everyone, diehard sports fans will always be devastated to miss games, especially important ones. While there are some apps and add-ons offered that will make accessing sports content easier, they usually aren’t cheap.

Overall, the pros outweigh the cons and quitting cable is the best move. Most cons can be resolved and the money saved and infinite benefits make up for the minimal losses. It’s time to leave cable in the past, and step into the new age of streaming.