There’s no facet of our daily life that has not been revolutionized by technology. Television industry is no exception. The cost, content, accessibility, clarity and speed are the most appealing aspects of online streaming which sets it a class apart from its counterpart, the cable or satellite TV.
The invention of cable TV back in 1948 served the need of the hour of transmitting the far distant AV signals to inaccessible areas. Gradually, years later in the seventies, it augmented its way into major cities. As every household ended up subscribing to the pay TV, huge investments were being made in to fine tune the infrastructure related to cable TV.
Subsequently, cable TV networks started offering the end users with high speed internet service, which enabled the users to experience technologically advanced features such as digital calling along with crisp & clear TV content.
Before the advent of cable TV, there no other avenue that could connect people to the outside world. There were no convenient options in terms of money, time and access as the best way to explore the world was by travelling. Cable / Satellite TV bridged that demand perfectly by offering great content at a price most end users could bear. TV had well & truly arrived!
After experiencing cable TV, the viewers started expecting more. TV audience had technologically advanced television sets, they had wirelessly connected TVs, the TV sets were connected to the internet and the time was ripe for the audience to get customized content on demand as & when they wanted.
Cable TV was now beings tagged as boring & mundane. Where did it go wrong for cable TV then? Frankly, nothing went wrong. It’s just that consumers had a shift in their preference & pattern of content consumption. They had better options now, which were available on the digital platforms.
If most of the media research groups are anything to go by, then the hassle-free sign up procedure, better cost and compact nature of the digital content providers was the perfect answer to the higher expectations of the cable / satellite TV viewers and online streaming providers were now alluring even the diehard cable TV subscribers to their platform.
This marked the advent of Online or as we call it the Web content streaming platforms to gain acceptance. TVs had become “Smart TVs” which were able to connect to the WiFi networks and show web content seamlessly to the viewers. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar and Hooq are few among the noteworthy online streaming providers who have made a mark already.
The most enticing feature of online streaming services is seamless connectivity across devices & platforms which translated into total viewing freedom for the audience. With such freedom and premium content that these services bring to the table, the need to staying glued to a single medium for content viewing became redundant.
The option of anytime availability of the most sought after content is another irresistible feature that online streaming providers offer to their patrons. The possibility to download the desired content that could be viewed later even where no internet connectivity is available has added immensely to the shift of audience to online streaming services.
Switching between the varied screen sizes to best suit the needs of the viewers is another possibility when one views content online. The choice of paying only for the content desired to be viewed is something that gives the subscriber a unique choice which otherwise is unavailable in the traditional cable TV.
Over the past few years a fast collapse in the subscriptions of cable TV has pointed towards times worse than what was predicted by the trade analysts. The growth in the subscriptions for online streaming at a pace much higher than expected only sets the record straight in favor of online streaming providers. Online streaming dares to reinvent itself with the changing needs of its benefactors to form a more loyal and stable customer base.
There is no denying of the fact that the evolution of technology in the television industry has not only begun but is also progressing aggressively. However, it will culminate into great success only when there is win-win situation for all the stakeholders & key market players involved and their emphasis on more technological advancements.
The niche players in the cable TV market need to look at the bigger picture and work in collaboration with the leading technology and content providers to be able to ride the wave of success.