According to a new report by the Convergence Consulting Group in Canada, just released this week, 2.65 million Americans have cancelled their cable TV subscriptions in favor of services like Netflix and Hulu Plus.
My family is about to make a monumental move in cutting entertainment costs. We just purchased a Roku set-top device and signed up for Netflix. We are researching antennas for live, local network television options. We are about to join the “millions” of cord cutters out there who are not only fed up with high television subscription costs, but really, we can’t keep going on this way.
Right now we pay $86 a month for content plus a DVR – we have one of the most “affordable” services, Dish Network. We will certainly miss the DVR, but with on demand content it shouldn’t be a huge problem. We’ll have to adjust our expectations on new programming, and we will probably supplement with a service like Vudu to rent a newer-released movie every now or then.
An interesting related phenomena is also occurring. Television shows are experiencing a real bump in Nielsen ratings now that streaming services have become popular. Folks can now access an entire season’s library of shows and “catch up” on what they missed. It seems streaming isn’t cannibalizing network programming. People are balancing streaming with other forms of content.
More and more people are taking time to seriously compare stream providers, and many who jumped ship are coming back. This will prove to be a time of uncertainty for several key players, including streaming services, subscription television providers, internet providers, etc.
I don’t know how this experiment will work, but I do know that for the time being it’s important for us to balance our budget. We have a large family – we can’t consume streamed content the same way we consume our TV subscription content, because of usage-based caps on our internet subscription. We might have to rely more on network programming (and sitting through all those commercials). It will help Nielsen ratings, I’m sure. And maybe we’ll learn to connect with each other instead of focusing on our love affair with the TV set
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