People have become so accustomed to having cable TV in their homes over the year that these services are seen as a necessity by most. There are even some people that pay well over a hundred dollars a month to get hundreds of cable channels, while they might only watch a handful of those channels on a regular basis. Talk about spending more money than you have to, right? And those big cable companies have long thrived on charging higher and higher prices, while consumers seemed content to keep on paying and oftentimes not even getting access to the type of shows, programs and other content that they really enjoy the most.
That is all changing now, as streaming devices and Smart (Internet connected) TVs are actually in more households than cable boxes these days. You read that right – even considering all of the millions of homes that have cable or satellite boxes, there are still more that have devices and TVs that are capable of streaming the top content providing services right now. As a matter of fact, recent research has indicated that about 65 percent of households in the United States have – at a minimum – one streaming device connected to their televisions, or they own smart TVs that connect to the Internet on their own.
Streaming TV Surges in Popularity
While the streaming TV (or Internet TV) revolution has been going on for a few years now, the popularity of these devices has really taken off over the course of the last few years. Consider this – in 2013 it is estimated that only about 44 percent of households in the country had either smart TVs or some sort of streaming devices (Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick, etc.…) If you go back all the way to 2010, only about 20 percent of households were using these devices. Clearly, this technology has really caught on, and it does not show any signs of slowing down in the future. In fact, most experts agree that streaming devices and services really are the future of how people will watch their favorite movies and shows.
To add even more emphasis to how popular streaming TV has become, the households that have smart TVs, streaming devices or game consoles (which can also stream TV content) usually have more than one of these types of devices. About 74 percent of the households that use streaming TV have multiple devices capable of streaming Netflix, Hulu or other popular online content services. That means that about 3.3 percent of all households today have multiple streaming devices. If you take that stat and then factor in all of the households in the United States, you get a mean number of about 2.1 streaming devices in American households. That compares to just 1.8 pay TV boxes across the same population.
Cable Content Providers Scrambling
It is easy to understand why the big studios and cable channels are struggling to keep up with this change. The paradigm that has allowed them, along with the huge cable providers to make billions of dollars has radically changed. Many, like Comcast and Time Warner are jumping on the bandwagon and trying to offer either their own streaming apps or to integrate their cable packages with streaming devices.
Saving Money by Cutting the Cord
The popularity of streaming TV has allowed more and more people to effectively “cut the cord” with their cable providers. Some of the people who are getting rid of cable/satellite packages are doing so because it is simply easier to use streaming devices. Most folks, however, have found that they can save a lot of money. Imagine that instead of paying a hundred bucks or so a month for cable that you simply bought a streaming device (one that maybe costs you $75) and then simply signed up for Netflix for $9.99 a month. That would allow you to pay about $200 total for all your TV/Movies for the year, compared to paying about $1200 via an expensive cable package. And we could all stand to save a thousand bucks a year these days!