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Channel surfing, reruns and reality shows – if these are a few of your favorite things then you may be one of the few that is still tuned into cable TV.
Cable may offer some likable features, but it is increasingly losing market to online streaming services. “Video on Demand” is stealing the show with attractive features that specifically cater to your entertainment needs. Services like Hulu and Netflix are booming as people decide to cut the cable cord, yet many remain hesitant about dropping the cable subscription altogether.
Weighing the benefits and drawbacks is a good place to start to figure out what is the best option for you as a consumer.
The Price is Right
There is one reason why the online streaming bandwagon has taken off – it is a whole lot cheaper.
Most streaming services have a rate per month payment, ranging anywhere from $6 to $20. This is a steal compared to the average $66 a month consumers pay for a cable package.
With cable TV, you get a bundle of channels to flip through. Live programs and a variety of news and sports are still benefits of having a cable package, but with this deal you also end up with channels you could probably live without. Out of the average 190 channels a household receives, Nielsen reports that consumers only watch about 17.
Pick and Choose
What makes streaming videos online so revolutionary is the ability to watch content on demand and on-the-go.
Wherever there is Wi-Fi, there is Netflix that can readily be streamed from any mobile device. The customization is also a winning feature that you do not get with cable. You are able to pick and choose your favorite content.
Some services even give you recommendations based on your viewing trends and let you know when new episodes of your favorites are available by a quick email or text.
Something for Everyone
Sifting through the possibilities is the first step in choosing what streaming service to pay for, but chances are there is one you find more appealing.
Hulu and HBO stream shows that currently air on cable and do so on these services within a timely 24 hours of airtime. Netflix is not as savvy, but has far more TV shows and movies, which make it great for binge-watching. Amazon offers video streaming with a Prime subscription and also includes benefits like free 2-day shipping.
In addition, a few online services are now attempting to stream live content, something that was once unique to cable.
The options are endless, but worth the research if you are ready to put down the remote.
In light of the upsurge of online streaming, cable TV is in a desperate attempt to save their market. More and more, we see cable services offering incentives to keep their audience, such as teaming up with other services or even offering online streaming as an added bonus to the cable subscription.
Whether you choose to follow technological trends or stick with the tube, the decision lies in what works for your entertainment needs and of course, how much you are willing to spend.
You failed to mention one of the major drawbacks of cable: the sheer volume of commercials. Ads comprise nearly one third of all airtime, and even more if you factor in sports and late night infomercials.
With Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu ad free, you’re not only getting access to superior content, you’re getting that content without commercial interruption. Who in their right mind pays a fortune for access to shows riddled with commercial messages?
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