26 Mar 2015Cord Cutting: How To Decide If It's Time To Ditch Cable For Streaming Video
cord cutters Netflix: $8.99/month For less than $10 a month, Netflix gives its users access to a boatload of movies, television series and original content such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. While more content is added each month, Netflix can often lack some of the newer content available on other services and finding the hidden gems can sometimes require the use of external guides such as Instant Watcher . Hulu Plus: $7.99/month If new television shows are the staple of your TV-watching experience, Hulu Plus can serve as a decent replacement, offering some of the newest episodes from major networks including Fox, NBC Universal, ABC and the CW. Its one major drawback is the number of ads that you have to sit through, regardless of whether or not you pay for the service. Sling TV $20/month For $20 a month, Dish Networks Sling TV offers 17 live television channels and is the only service to also include ESPN and ESPN2. And with that price users can stream live TV on a tablet, smartphone, laptop, Xbox One and select set-top boxes such as the Amazon Fire TV and Roku. Additional channel bundles can also be added for $5 a month and fully loaded it can bring the monthly cost as high as $45. While its one of the cheaper cable-free television options, the service lacks some frills of television watching such as a DVR service. Apple Streaming TV: $30-40/month While a full-blown Apple TV hardware replacement has yet to appear, Apple is working on developing its own TV streaming service , according to the Wall Street Journal. ABC, CBS and Fox are among some of the networks in talks with the company.
Full story here: Cord Cutting: How To Decide If It's Time To Ditch Cable For Streaming Video
However, the actual numbers show that if the cord-cutting revolution is happening, then someone must have hit the mute button. In 2014, the pay -TV industry lost 125,000 subscriptions, up from 2013, when 95,000 customers cut the cord, according to a post on telecompaper.com that cites a report from Leichtman Research Group. Yes, consumers are walking away from cable and satellite TV, but they are exiting one at a time, not in droves. The pay-TV industry still counts more than 95 million subscribers on its rolls, so last year's exodus marks a decline of barely over 0.1%, or essentially a rounding error. What is happening in the industry, however, is that actual viewing of cable TV is plummeting. Total TV viewing fell by 10% in the third quarter of 2014 and 9% in the fourth quarter, according to Sanford & Bernstein analysis of Nielsen data.That decline has hastened in the new year as viewership has fallen 12% thus far in the first quarter. The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau, which would seem to represent the constituency most threatened by the shift, reportedly estimates that 40% of the Q3 and Q4 decline owes to competition from streaming services like Netflix,according to a Wall Street Journal article [subscription required]. That should come as little surprise considering Netflix's domestic subscription base has grown by nearly 20% in the last year, but what is surprising is that this transition hasn't led to much cord-cutting. Let's take a look at a few reasons why. Can't mess with the bundle While the frivolous reality TV shows that have become a staple of the past decade seem to be losing their relevance as consumer tastes have moved to serialized scripted shows such as Netflix's House of Cards or Showtime's Homeland, the most popular programming on cable still requires a subscription. Disney 's ESPN is far and away the leading cable network and, with the exception of Dish 's Sling TV, there is no substitute for live sports without a pay-TV package. Sling TV, which offers ESPN, TNT, TBS, and a handful of other popular cable channels, seems like a good deal for $20/month, but initial sign-ups were reported to be only around 100,000 in the first month. At that level, Sling poses no serious threat to the cable giants.
Read More: Why Americans Are Giving Up on Cable TV but Not Cutting the Cord - NASDAQ.com
So the Cooking Channel and Crime & Investigation Network and dozens of others at the cord cutting upper end of the channel array hardly fatten up cable bills at all. Savings certainly can be had through narrower packages or a la carte selections for those who have no interest in sports. Walt Disney Co.s ( DIS ) ESPN alone collects more than $6 per month per subscriber four times the next most expensive network, Time Warner Inc.s ( TWX ) TNT. ESPN 2, Fox Sports 1 and NFL Network are also among the priciest channels, as games command a reliable real-time audience and must pay enormous rights fees to the professional and college leagues. The point is, if you want to pay less, its possible but you have to be willing to watch less. Or, more specifically, you need to know exactly what you will want to watch and thus to forgo the serendipity of channel surfing or the chance that some obscure network will create next seasons cant-miss show. There are handy shopping guides to test out whether youre a good candidate for cord cutting, such as this one from the Associated Press . More competition or heightened demand? Some enthusiastic advocates for greater competition across video platforms believe we might ultimately see broader price reductions as the cable-and-content ecosystem is disrupted. The argument here is that content costs those fees to ESPN and the others have grown well in excess of inflation in part because the pay-TV middlemen (like Time Warner Cable and Comcast) were always able to pass them on to their captive subscribers. So, these experts say, perhaps disconnecting content fees from dominant cable and satellite systems will make them more susceptible to price competition as the networks scramble to chase the eyeballs of cord cutters. Maybe. But wont the wider variety of services bidding to carry the coveted networks simply broaden the demand for them? Isnt content still king, under this scenario? For sure, Apple seems perfectly equipped to drive a tough bargain in negotiating content fees. And its TV solution might deliver additional benefits. Maybe it will offer a handy tool to search and organize YouTube videos?
Read More: Cutting the cable cord might not save you as much as you think - Yahoo News