By: Lauren Vella
When you are moving into a new apartment with a roommate, there are a few things discussed before the big move-in day. Among things like rent and cleaning, there is also a discussion about the possibility of splurging for the Wi-Fi package with cable. You may be enthusiastic about getting the cable with internet for a whopping fifteen dollars more, but your roommate nonchalantly says, “I don’t really need it, I mainly watch Netflix anyway.” And while you would like to think that you are always going to watch regularly scheduled cable all the time, you cannot help but see your roommate’s point. The prospect of catching an episode of your favorite sitcom has lost it’s appeal.
As a millennial, I take for granted that if I miss Modern Family on a Wednesday night, I do not have to worry. The next day I can stream it from the ABC app, or a different website. It kind of makes you think, “What did we do when we couldn’t watch every episode of our favorite shows online?” Would we have to open the paper TV guide that comes in the mail, and set aside a time on our calendars to watch the re-run? Please, that is extremely out dated– so 1999.
When Netflix was established as an online streaming entity in 2007, the way we consumed television changed completely. We may not have known it then, but Netflix began to put live television at risk of extinction. In a recent article published by Variety, writer Todd Spangler notes a Deloitte survey shows that 42% of Americans now use Netflix or another streaming service for their entertainment needs. The survey also found that over half of the population surveyed stream movies online, with the same percentage stream television shows online.
In addition, well-known directors, producers and actors have realized the consumer shift from television to online streaming. Increasingly, actors and actresses are signing on to projects with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video for “original series” as opposed to shows that are broadcasted on major network television. With the success of shows like House of Cards, Orange is The New Black and Narcos, why would they pass up the chance to become successful through a medium that is gaining increasing popularity? We have seen this kind of movement from TV and movies to Netflix with well-known actors such as Ashton Kutcher, Taylor Lautner, the cast of Full House and Winona Ryder just to name a few. Even late night talk show host Chelsea Handler has given in to the streaming trend and signed on with Netflix to create a weekly variety show.
The present points to a future in which we are no longer watching regularly scheduled programming on television. Instead, we are moving towards a future in which binge-watching our favorite series online is the only option. However, I do believe there is something exciting about watching live broadcasting. Let us try and forget about crutch of online streaming for just a moment, and try to enjoy your favorite ABC television show while it lasts.
What do you think is the future of consuming motion picture entertainment? Is television and the movie theater a thing of the past? Will cable TV be an option that is available within the next ten years? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!