Like many Americans tired of the ever-increasing rise of cable TV, I decided a few months ago to cut the cord. The decline in cable subscriptions and the increase in the number of people streaming will continue to impact media buyers and their media strategy.
I purchased an antenna that allows me to get all the local channels in a 50 mile radius and bought a Roku.
The Roku cost $49 and allows me to access over a 1000 entertainment channels, has built-in wireless, plays HD video, has a 5X faster processor and motion control.
I then purchased Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime to determine the best streaming service for my particular viewing enjoyment.
Netflix is the most popular streaming platform, providing over 2 billion hours of content a month. Critics have called it "rerun TV" given its digital catalog that leans heavily on episodes of shows that are no longer on the air, or older seasons of current shows. However, their original programming is changing this. Personally, I love it as I am heavily into "binge viewing" as I can watch entire seasons available all at one time. With all the bad weather this winter, it is nice to be able to curl up and watch my favorite shows for hours on end.
Netflix's original programming Lilyhammer, House of Cards, and Arrested Development have proven to be very popular and have made Netflix a player in Hollywood.
Netflix got its first Oscar nomination for "The Square," a critically-acclaimed documentary about the Egyptian revolution that began three years ago. Another Netflix-produced documentary "Mitt," focuses on the presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney that failed in 2008 and 2012.
You'll probably see more documentaries as they are cheaper to produce and have generated a lot of interest for Netflix.
Amazon Prime, another streaming service, is a value at around $79 a year. I signed up for it as the subscription also includes free two-day shipping on many items available on Amazon. However,
However, the price of Prime may increase between $20 and $40 in the U.S., the company said late Thursday. The price of Prime hasn't changed since it first launched nine years ago. The company said the increases were the result of rising fuel and shipping costs.
Hulu has proven to be my least favorite. Hulu is a subscription service offering ad-supported on-demand streaming video of TV shows, movies, webisodes and other new media, trailers, clips, and behind-the-scenes footage from NBC, Fox, ABC, TBS, WWE, and many other networks and studios.
The problem with Hulu is the ad-supported facet. There are more ads than network TV and really disrupt viewing with the frequency of ads that are repeated ad nauseam. Advertisers should consider the annoyance factor of this practice. I will probably cancel this service very soon.
The newest platform is Redbox Instant. It offers its subscribers access to 4,600 subscription titles and four Redbox DVD rentals for $8 a month. You can also digitally rent or buy around 4,000 movies for a fee to augment the subscriptions with newer fare.. the Comcast purchase of Time Warner may change things for many like me.
The deal would allow Comcast to gain subscribers, but also increase its internet customer base. All those subscribers that leave cable will still want broadband in their homes for streaming and internet access and Comcast can retain part of their business.
This merger may eventually impact how fast will you will be able to access streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Comcast may be planning to migrate the bulk of desirable content behind the cable paywall.
I have recently signed up for the Free Trial and have yet to decide if it is a keeper. Since most of the services offer most of the same popular programming, I will probably continue to subscribe to only two...Netflix and Amazon Prime.
The savings of over $85 dollars a month and the ability to binge watch my favorite shows have given me no reason to return to cable TV.
Are you streaming? What platform is your favorite?