Online television becomes increasingly popular

Photo Illustration by Cory Wyman ’16 – Online video streaming services are becoming increasingly popular, reaching tens of millions of subscribers in the industry’s viewer base.

By Henry Nallen ‘18

Video may have killed the radio star, but the Internet is now taking jabs at the traditional cable box.

Television is just one example of something that has adapted and changed rapidly with technological advances.

Up until the past decade or so, television was primarily based on cable or network broadcast. However, according to a Dec. 23, 2014 Investopedia article, the amount of cable television being watched is decreasing, as the amount of online television streaming is increasing.

The reason for this is accessibility and control.

Viewers no longer have to wait for their favorite show to air each week because they can watch a whole season at once on TV streaming websites such as Netflix and Hulu.

According to an Aug. 13, 2015 Cordcutting article, Netflix has reported a grand total of 65.6 million subscribers. While Hulu is far behind them at only 9 million subscribers, it is still an impressive leap for them from 6 million in 2014.

People of all ages, including students and teachers, take advantage of these sites and their endless selection of movies and TV shows.

“We don’t have any TV service, so everything we watch is streaming.” said Mr. Quentin Orem when asked about his television preferences. “We have a TV, but it is hooked up to the Internet.”

“I tend to use the sites Putlocker and Netflix. Between those two, you can basically get everything.”

Sophomore Chaz Stackpole ’18 said he tends to watch live TV, while reaping the benefits of online TV as well.

“I mostly watch things on actual TV,” Stackpole said. “If I am watching a series I’ll watch it on a computer, but if I am just watching TV for fun, I will watch it on a TV.”

TV is a primary source of entertainment for some people, so price is an important factor in choosing between online TV and cable.

Online TV streaming websites can cost about the same price per year as cable, however these sites charge fees that include access to the whole site, while most cable companies charge extra for added specialty channels.

Another factor that is taken into consideration is instant streaming versus controlled programming.

“It’s hard because with TV, you have to wait every week, whereas streaming you can watch on demand whenever you want.” Mr. Orem said. “I think that really resonates with American culture.”