By Suzannah Young
Gone is the era of the cable provider, enabling customers to use a remote to flip on their TV and browse a limited array of channels and networks.
Now, streaming is king.
The birth of streaming services created a new way of watching TV by satisfying an increasingly plugged-in generation in ways that cable simply could not.
Cable’s problem was that, in the new millennium, it provided a finite number of networks, each showcasing only the shows which they produced at specific times chosen by the network itself. It lacked accessibility.
People could only watch from one device, and could only watch when the show was aired by the chosen network time. Even recording required planning.
Barry freshman communication student Nailah Landon considers streaming services very accessible and efficient.
“For people who don’t have a TV, with streaming services they’re able to watch on their computers or phones easily, and it’s available to them at all times,” said Landon. “They have access to all their shows that they know will always be there.”
With streaming, the stress of planning ahead is eliminated completely. Streaming gives viewers access to all their favorite shows and movies whenever and wherever they want. People have the ability to access their televisions on phones and laptops, and don’t have to wait or go home to watch from an actual television.
“I like how streaming services have more options than what normal cable companies have,” said Landon. “They offer me more options of shows that are not as popular and more unique to fit my taste.”
While many differences between cable and streaming lie in their accessibility, the two forms of television share a common struggle in the consumer aspect of their trade.
Just as cable companies once competed against one another to provide the most networks at the best rates, streaming services now compete in similar ways.
Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime Video are among some of the most popular streaming services on the market today. Each service contains its own library of shows and movies, and each is special in their own way.
Netflix has what are called “Netflix Originals,” which are created by the company and only accessible through Netflix. While Hulu offers a much lower rate, it comes with advertisements unless a pricier option is chosen. Amazon Prime Video is popular among those who are fans in other areas of the consumerism monopoly (such as shopping), while Disney Plus contains every Disney movie ever created.
Although some opt for only one streaming service, Landon has the ability to browse titles from all four.
“I have Disney Plus, Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video,” Landon said. “My favorite one right now is Netflix because it’s the one I’m the most familiar with and I know they have what I’m looking for. I really like the Netflix originals and I think overall it provides the best content.”
Other students, however, seem to be using their streaming services less frequently. Barry junior and communications student, Patrick Fogelgren, does not feel the need to access his streaming services as much outside the comfort of his home.
“I get my movies and shows from Amazon Prime and Xfinity,” Fogelgren said. “The only time I access streaming services is at home. I like to turn on the TV and be able to relax and stream my shows whenever I want.”
Streaming has replaced cable services rapidly and has led to competition between different networks. Nonetheless, the streaming industry is a new phenomenon and has given the world a new way to watch TV.