Cord-cutting is when one cancels the traditional television service by switching to a different one for receiving TV channels and their programs. It is the new hype nowadays with people mostly moving towards streaming services or antenna. An antenna is when one connects an indoor or outdoor antenna to their TV, and he can receive TV channels and programs by the over-the-air method. For streaming services, all that is needed is a streaming box like Roku, Amazon Fire, etc., or streaming services like Netflix, etc., and smart TV with a working internet connection, and then you can have access to on-demand programs that are usually shown on TV.
Many service providers are working to meet the demands of internet and television users, by making these services work together so consumers can have the best user experience. For instance, with Xfinity double play deals, users can avail of internet and cable TV services at the same time for a reasonable price. Xfinity users will get Xfinity Flex 4K streaming box and Peacock Premium with no additional charges. These are just so users can have the best of both worlds, by making use of streaming services and cable TV at the same time, on their own terms.
Pros and Cons of Cord Cutting
The alternative of streaming services and antennae seem effective to users who are having second thoughts about owning cable TV services. Following are the benefits that they can see with cord-cutting.
- Users are no longer associated with contracts and they do not have to pay for expensive cable TV anymore. The lack of contract allows users to try out other services before committing themselves to just one, so users are free to explore other options.
- Without cable TV, users can choose what channels or services they want to view. They do not have to pay for channels or programs they don’t prefer watching.
- There is a monthly rental fee that users have to pay with cable TV services, which can eat up their savings. A streaming box needs only one-time payment and streaming media can be played on any device.
- Cable TV users are confined to just one room in their houses. But what if they needed movement and be able to watch media content on the go? That is where streaming service comes in. You can play streaming services on any portable device.
All of these points seem to render cable TV completely obsolete, but there are still some cons to having cut the cord which will be explored below.
- Many streaming channels or services might be free, but there are some that are not, and require monthly subscription or pay-per-view charges. Users can probably pay for one or two subscription or pay-per-view services and save money, but if he keeps adding more services, the charges will increase. He will again find himself in the same position that made him cut the cord in the first place.
- Not all streaming services or devices have the desired channels or programs. Roku devices have 5000 possibilities, though that really depends on the location. Other media streamers like Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, etc. might not have the channel or services that one desires. Even Netflix doesn’t have all the TV shows or programs that one wants to binge-watch.
- There is also a streaming limit to some services, and if users bypass them, it gets added to their monthly bill. If there is more than one person streaming in a household that also impacts the allotment being used.
Seems like some services cannot be availed without the cable TV service, and streaming devices are dependent on them for that.
What do the results say?
The stats will determine the number of American households that have quit the cable TV services and chosen to cut the cord, and the reasoning behind them doing it. Around 86% of the American cable TV owners have said that they cut the cord because cable TV was getting too expensive. This was reported by Statista who collected data about the reasons behind people cutting off cord back in the last months of 2017. There were also reasons like having a preference for streaming services (39.7%) and using an antenna (23%). Others prefer binge-watching an entire season in one sitting (15%) which cannot be possible through cable TV or have either moved or relocated and don’t plan on signing up to this service (13%). By the end of 2019, around 25 million American households had cut the cord, and that number is expected to reach up to 46 million by 2024.
In conclusion, cable TV might seem like it is dying because people are choosing to cut the cord to go for other on-demand services, but from the above reasoning, it seems that cable TV still has a long way to go before it becomes obsolete.