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The popularity of streaming has never been higher

Online streaming has become one of the most popular ways to consume content in today’s day and age.

streaming services on tv
Image: KnowTechie

Even before the current coronavirus crisis hit, there was already a huge change underway in the television industry. Countries like the United States had seen a rise in a phenomenon called ‘cord-cutting’ i.e. when people were canceling their cable or satellite TV connections and opting for streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video. Streaming services have become extremely popular in the last few years, and there are a few important reasons for this.

The biggest reason behind the rise of streaming services is the convenience and ease it offers. With huge libraries of content, consumers can pick what they want to watch, when they want to watch it. This is obviously not the case with traditional TV, where you are at the mercy of the TV schedule.

While there is fun in discovering an old favorite playing on a channel when you least expected it, the overriding need for people today is to have what they want when they want it. Further, with the ability to use these services on mobile phones, people can watch their favorite content at literally any time.

Many consumers use their commutes, for example, to catch up on the latest episodes of their favorites shows, or sneak in a quick partial watch of a movie they were watching earlier. Services like Netflix sync seamlessly across devices as long as they are signed in to the same account, so you can resume watching from where you left off at the click of a button or the tap of a screen.

Another big reason for this sudden explosion in the popularity of streaming services is the choice that they offer. Most of them have multiple packages with the ability to pay for the features and functions that the consumer wants. This is not the case with cable or satellite, where a customer is usually paying for channels he or she does not watch, or for features they do not use, just because they are bundled with the content they actually do want to watch. Streaming services are also extremely personalized, using algorithms to suggest new content based on what you have been watching. This allows the viewer to get access to the content they may not even have known existed, even though it is of interest to them.

Streaming services are also affordable, to an extent. Individual services are certainly affordable; it is when you take multiple subscriptions out for multiple services that it may get a little heavy on your wallet. This is the one issue with streaming – that content is spread across multiple providers, based on who has the rights. This is basically the reason why websites like exist, to allow users to choose which service to subscribe to, based on its cost and the titles in its library. This issue does not look like dying down anytime soon, with new entrants such as Disney and NBC coming up with their own streaming services, and therefore even more choices for consumers.

Online streaming has become one of the most popular ways to consume content in today’s day and age. While it is still some way off from replacing cable TV altogether, the rate at which it is progressing and picking up new consumers means that the day is not far off when streaming services will be the way in which the vast majority of people, especially in countries like the USA, consume their TV or movie content.

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