Can Netflix Really Kill Cable TV?

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Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video are considered a form of over-the-top media, which means it is delivered directly to the consumer over the Internet, bypassing any traditional cable or satellite providers.

Netflix alone touts 69 million subscribers worldwide, with more than 43 million coming from the U.S. That’s 36% of American households that now have a Netflix subscription. Since video-on-demand can be watched at any time, viewers have succumbed to the guiltiest of all pleasures – binge watching. 87% of people subscribed to a video-on-demand service admitted to binge-watching at least once a week.

Users that binge-watch with the commercial-free Netflix have been saved from about 130 hours of advertising per year. That’s enough time to squeeze in the entire series of “Arrested Development”, “30 Rock” and “Mad Men” combined. So it’s clear that with the rise of streaming video, traditional cable television is becoming a thing of the past, right? Can’t we all just cut our cords now? Not quite.

A recent study found that 83% of American households still use pay-tv services such as cable and satellite, and while Netflix users continue to grow exponentially every year, pay-tv usage has remained steady. So, Americans just love TV so much that statistically they’re not only keeping their cable subscriptions, they’re also adding streaming video into their viewing habits. This may change though as more traditional channels make their way to a subscription à la carte format.

Dish Network’s Sling TV offers subscribers a package of television channels, including live television, without a cable subscription. CBS and HBO have also been on the forefront of this movement with CBS All-Access and HBO Now. But until more channels adopt this format, cable, satellite and streaming television will continue to work together to feed our voracious appetite for more and more ShondaLand.

There is also one more thing that we need to take into account. TV doesn’t just consist of movies or TV series; live TV, world news, local news, sports… these contents will not just disappear. If Netflix comes up with an idea to include these things, there might be a hope for them but it seems it is not going to happen in the near future. Speaking of which, Netflix is not the only company that grows and uses new technologies. Cable companies have been on the market for years and they are not messing around. Even a single product or system may turn the tides of the competition. It only takes a few good ideas and a couple of software developers to build a system that can take down large corporations, right?

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