Should You Give Up Your Cable Subscription?
More and more people are giving up their cable subscriptions and becoming what is known as “cord cutters”. Where are all these people going for their entertainment, instead? To streaming services.
But streaming has its advantages and disadvantages. While in the beginning it was a no-brainer, it’s quickly becoming less and less appealing from various points of view. Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of streaming services and whether you should actually give up your cable subscription just yet.
- A variety of streaming services
The thing with cable TV is that it’s extremely limiting – sure, there are tons of channels to choose from, all with their own programming, but it’s still imposed by the network. That is one of the reasons why people become cord cutters and switch to streaming services: the sheer variety of content.
With most streaming services, you get access to TV shows, movies, documentaries, and original content, all in one neat package. It’s a very enticing offer, and it’s hard to find faults with paying a flat fee to watch basically as much TV as you want – and you get to pick!
- Viewing on demand
The other main, strong advantage is that streaming is available on demand. Traditional TV limits you to the living room, or wherever the TV is. Streaming services, however, allow you unlimited liberty via unfettered access to your content – anytime you want.
You have ultimate control over your content; you choose what you watch, when, where, if you want to pause it, watch 15 episodes in a row, skip an episode, go back, etc. Anytime you have 10 minutes to spare, you can catch up on your shows. That’s something traditional cable simply cannot compete with, due to its rigid format.
- Access anywhere, on any device
The other thing to keep in mind is the medium itself – TV can only be watched on a TV. Something like Netflix, however, has a much wider flexibility. You can watch Netflix on virtually any device that has a screen and an internet connection: laptops, PCs, tablets, phones, and TVs.
That means that you can take “TV” with you anywhere you go and watch it away from your TV set and your living room couch: in the bathtub, on the bus, at work, in a waiting room, etc. That transforms the TV watching experience from something inherently static to something mobile and flexible.
- It’s not cheaper than cable anymore
One of the main initial draws of streaming subscriptions was that they offered incredible value and a huge variety of content for a comparatively small price. Especially as cable prices continue to rise, it was a great deal.
However, the issue is that not only have streaming service prices been creeping up, the volume of content is going down, as well. Back when streaming was new and Netflix had a monopoly, for example, you could find virtually anything you wanted.
But as more streaming services have popped up and companies have all created their own platforms (like Disney, NBC, etc.), they’ve pulled their content from competitors like Netflix, or they’ve started charging insane amounts of money.
- There’s an increasingly narrower selection
As more and more content is pulled from streaming services as they fight for exclusivity rights, the result is that viewers are left with a narrower and narrower selection on any platform. You may be browsing the content library and finding that it’s a little bit scarce.
Nowadays, if you want to truly enjoy all the content you want, you need to pony up the cash for multiple subscriptions – Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Disney+, etc. Obviously, that adds up quickly, thus defeating the purpose of having an all-in-one streaming platform.
- It relies on having an internet connection
Something you may not have considered is that in order to actually use these streaming services, you will rely on an internet connection. That’s one thing that traditional TV broadcasting actually has over streaming services – you just turn it on and it works, no internet necessary.
Of course, you can get a smart TV with an internet connection and everything and use it to access your streaming services. But if your Wi-Fi is down and you want to kill some time watching something dumb, good old cable can be a reliable friend.
So, all things considered, should you be cutting the cord and giving up your cable subscription? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for when you consume content. If you value the flexibility and the on-demand quality of streaming, then it may be worth it to give up cable for good.
If, however, you’re not keen on relying on an internet connection and don’t want to be subscribed to 47 different streaming services, you might as well just stay faithful to cable. Especially as streaming services are becoming more and more like cable companies, what is the difference between them, at the end of the day?