There is a revolution going on and it is not happening in the streets: it is happening in the comfort and privacy of our own homes. It is how we choose to watch television. Your cable and Internet cost are beyond repair. How about $175 for TV with Internet and if you don’t meet your payment, they charge you $100 dollars or more in late fees? People don’t like their cable bills, and who can blame them? With the economy still in the tank, people are tightening their belts and holding on to their money. Two of the lowest ranked companies on the American Consumer Satisfaction Index are Time Warner Cable and Comcast who are merging into one $45 billion conglomerate.
However, people are finding new and inventive ways to watch television. The Internet has become the new way to watch TV and many people are discovering just that. The three major networks have official websites where you can watch not only current shows, but the classics like Knight Rider and Miami Vice. If you want to watch ESPN or HBO or NFL Network you can, but on your computer – and you have to create an account and pay a little extra. These new TV habits are picking up steam. Many people are simply lighting the match and setting their cable bill on fire by dropping cable entirely. Americans are asking: “Do I really need cable? Do I really watch that much TV?”
Recently a report came out stating that the number of people cutting ties with cable companies has risen by 44% in just three years, and overall the cable industry has lost 2 million subscribers. Many cash-strapped Americans are saving a ton of money with all the alternatives out there. Video services are becoming the next big thing. Netflix is the top service provider, with 45 million subscribers at the price of $7.99 a month. Currently it has about 9,400 movie titles and 4,500 TV shows. Netflix has also gotten into the original series business by developing shows like Lilyhammer, documentaries and movies like Bastards of Baseball.
For movie buffs there is Amazon Prime, which offers unlimited streaming of over 40,000 movies for $99 a year, and includes rentable e-books and free shipping on Amazon purchases. The company does not reveal the numbers of its subscribers but according to industry insiders it is said to be in the tens of millions. Another avenue for people to go down is Hulu, which has 5 million subscribers and 89,000 TV episodes and more 5,000 movies for $7.99 a month.
The final piece of the television revolution is Aero, which currently is available in the greater New York City metropolitan area as well as Boston. At the time of writing there is a Supreme Court case scheduled for this month; the networks claim that Aero illegally broadcast their copyrighted shows without paying them a fee. If Aero wins their case the broadcast executives have threatened to pull the plug; if that happens, consumers might have to pay extra for the networks rather than as a basic as part of a cable package.
To watch TV in 2014 you need special devices: there are several items to choose from such as Google Chromecast, Apple TV and Roku. For those who simply cannot afford and don’t want cable, there is a traditional converter box. The question for the consumer is how much ho you want to spend? The TV revolution has begun to take hold on society and people are taking control and not being force-fed by the three major networks. They are making choices based on their interest, desires and needs. They are getting tired of spending a fortune on cable and are looking for other alternatives for their television viewing.