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Netflix finally surpassed cable and satellite usage in 2018

Surprised it took this long.

netflix loading screen on laptop
Image: Unsplash

The promise of cord-cutting was so simple. Ditch cable, stream the content you watch instead. The current streaming market is anything but simple and it’s only going to get worse before it gets better. The big guns of Netflix and Hulu keep pulling viewers from the traditional cable model, which is struggling to slow the bleeding.

Everyone and their dog seems to be starting up their own streaming service, with Disney, Amazon, Apple, DC Entertainment, Walmart, and WarnerMedia all readying new services in the months ahead.

The streaming video market has never been more lucrative, illustrated perfectly by PwC’s annual streaming and pay-TV report (A New Video World Order). One fact jumps up straight away – Netflix usage (76%) has leapfrogged traditional pay-TV (67%) to take the top spot for viewing.

A change in how we consume media

That’s a big shift in perspective and the existing cable companies know they need to get on-board with the new paradigm or get left in the dust. With PwC surveying 2,016 people in the U.S., ages between 18-59, and with incomes above $40,000 for this report, it might not be the most comprehensive picture of the video landscape right now. What is interesting to me, is that the usual separate demographic groups all had similar answers, showing a convergence of viewing habits.

With the multitude of streaming services adding more content to their libraries, finding something to watch has never been easier – or more confusing. Only 12% of consumers stated they could find content easily on their platform of choice.

The main issues? Overcomplicated layouts and AI-based recommendation engines that miss the mark. This is something that even class-leading Netflix struggles with and the solution isn’t a simple one at all.

My personal take is that the ‘tags’ used to link different movies to a watcher’s preferences need a rethink. Maybe instead of trying to quantify them, the streaming services could crowdsource recommendations to show instead.

What do you think? Do you still have traditional cable or satellite? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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