Has TV Come Full Circle?

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Image created by D. Khan

D. Khan and M. Mizelle

Television is such a crucial part of our lives. It’s how we binge our favorite shows, how we watch award-winning movies from the comfort of our couches, and how we entertain ourselves when we have nothing else to work on! Nowadays, most of us watch all of our content from streaming services, like Disney +, Netflix, or Amazon Prime. But before all of these, we had cable TV and paid by the channels. 

Cable is failing because it makes people pay for multiple channels to watch their favorite show. Demand for one simple service was born, and Netflix answered it – now you could watch tons of different content from one site! When Netflix got so popular, other streaming sites followed. Now, the industry is competitive and chances are, you own more than one streaming service. Now, we have a new problem. Have we come full circle in entertainment?

Of the 25 students we surveyed, only three owned one streaming service. Thirteen owned 2-3, and 8 owned 4-5. Only one person had over five. If everything is provided in one service, then why are we still paying for multiple? Well, haven’t you seen a show on another site and thought “Wow! I want to watch that!” It’s not just you–it’s everyone else too. How many people got Disney + just to watch The Mandalorian? How many Netflix subscriptions exist only because viewers wanted to binge Stranger Things

Making multiple purchases to watch certain things… is it the same as cable? We don’t think so. The services have enough original content that the competition is kept small so that even if we own many services, the situation is limited to six tops. And most people join, binge, and remove services – something much harder to do on cable. 

According to Techwalla, Comcast cable cost are 24-85 dollars a month, Time Warner cost 30-80 dollars a month, and Cox Cable can go from 22-100 dollars a month. Netflix’s entire cost is 9-16 dollars monthly. Even if you’ve bought premium Netflix and any other streaming site, it’ll be cheaper than purchasing any of the other sites! That’s a key difference between these two forms of entertainment – people like to go to the cheaper 

Finally, even if we’re circling back each streaming site has different shows and movies that don’t only stick in their niche. Disney + doesn’t only have children movies, and Netflix puts out original content along with their new posts. This unique feature makes streaming that much more compressed and easier to work with.  After looking at the evidence, we realized that since each streaming service has more diverse content at a lower price, it is more efficient than cable TV was. Let’s all stick with Netflix (and Amazon Prime, and Disney, and Hulu, and HBO.)