The proliferation of streaming services has been on the upswing with the introduction of apps and devices that allow people to watch television programs, movies, and even live events in real-time, wherever they are, and even without a TV! But this surge in streaming’s popularity has adversely affected the cable TV industry. With subscribers suddenly presented with the option that markets itself as having more advantages over having your TV corded, droves have switched loyalties, spelling a slow death to cable TV providers. Or are we counting out cable too soon? Let’s look at some factors and determine who the ultimate victor is in the showdown between cable TV and streaming services.
Channel variety: Cable is still king
While it is true that streaming services boast of content from all over the world at your fingertips, viewers still care more about local channels. After all, there is still great demand to know the latest news, weather forecasts, event calendars – all of which can only be provided by local TV channels. Alas, there are cable TV channels that cannot transition into providing streaming services primarily because of cost considerations.
Cable companies are trying to respond to customers’ desire for more customization. But, again, ESPN is the black fly in their customized cable chardonnay, as the sports giant’s agreements with cable companies prohibit those companies from putting ESPN on any sort of “premium” tier.
Video and audio quality: Cable… for now
While it is true that cable services still provide better video and sound quality over their streaming rivals, that era may end anytime soon, with manufacturers of streaming devices already on the move in creating state of the art home theater audio systems under their brands.
Beyond just Roku, other streaming platforms are also trying to simplify home theater audio, albeit with mixed results.
Price: Streaming’s big advantage
When it comes to price, cable, with its necessity for physical devices like boxes, dongles, cables (obviously), and other implements, is in a disadvantage, which may prompt the marketing departments of these companies to offer packages at seemingly low prices, if you don’t look at them closely. But upon closer inspection, you will realize that cable is really more expensive because aside from having to pay for the packages (that, as mentioned above, cannot be separated from expensive channels, even those that are advertised as “basic packages”), you have to pay rent of all those devices mentioned above (the cable TV box, for example). If you go streaming, you may have to pay a subscription fee or a one-time purchase of a device like the Apple TV or Google Chromecast. Once you have the device, it pretty much employs the plug and play mechanism, and you won’t have to pay for it again!
After the telecom behemoth announced only a few weeks ago that it lost 732,000 TV customers in 2019 (a few months after raising prices, we might add) it seems that more price hikes are on the way. There’s no sense yet on what the timing will be, but the fact that Comcast has confirmed they’re coming could be read as one more sign the pay-TV industry knows its days are numbered, and it’s decided to just milk every cent it can and ride the decline all the way down.
Hidden charges: Cable’s ultimate downfall
Aside from being disadvantaged in price per se, cable subscribers must carry the burden of having to decipher the ambiguous charges on their monthly bill. With so many items in a subscriber’s bill every month, it’s no wonder why so many cable subscribers are opting to cut the cords and join the streaming bandwagon.
The average cable subscriber pays nearly $450 in fees every year ranging from broadcast TV fees, regional sports fees, set-top box or rental fees and more, according to a Consumer Reports study.
Can you realistically save?
Before eagerly jumping the bandwagon, new recruits in the world of streaming should take note that even the leading streaming services are already hinting at price increases soon. Before complaining that they’ve been victims of the good ole’ bait and switch, there may be some things that could be done to save on your subscriptions.
If you are a pay-TV customer currently paying as much as $100 monthly – not counting your broadband costs – and opt to cut the pay-TV cord, you could likely save money.
At the end of the day, what TV addicts choose between cable and streaming will boil down to their individual preferences. Just like in data recovery, you have the option of doing it yourself or trusting experts like us to do it for you. To know how we do data recovery, read this: https://www.harddriverecovery.org/data_recovery_process.html. Check out our line of services here.
Will Streaming Kill Cable? was first published on HDRG Blog