Each generation certainly has its own trends that change along with available technology and popular culture. As available technology increases, the way we receive our information changes, such as the widespread availability of smart phones, the compact size of laptops, social media, streaming services and more. Even cable subscriptions are seeing a major drop off as the world moves pushes to an more internet-centric platform. We’ve seen trends change with previous generations as well, but with the largest demographic beginning to come of age we are seeing a major paradigm shift with how people use modern media.
Standard cable subscriptions are seeing a sharp decrease in users. There are a few factors causing this, but one of the main reasons could certainly be in regards to finance. Cable subscriptions have been steadily rising over the last twenty years and cannot even compare in price to more recent streaming services that independent platforms have made available. This trend is fairly common with most major providers, as programming costs in general are also increasing. AT&T, Comcast, Dish, and Cox have all hiked their prices up even as they see a large drop off in their services. Generally speaking, the answer is not necessarily what cable companies want to hear. However, telecommunications companies aren’t exactly suffering, as several have turned to providing internet services.
The very nature of streaming services vs standard cable TV has changed the way that many consume their programming. For example, cable TV programming has traditionally released one episode per week, in start contrast to Netflix or Hulu releasing entire seasons at a time. A person may be more inclined to watch their favorite programs if more is available (also known as binge-watching) in place of a less-than instant gratification of a weekly episode release. Another reason that streaming services are winning the hearts of millions is an easy interface with the option for complete customization. As these alternatives arise, younger generations look at prices compared to what television programming they are consistently utilizing. A streaming service’s algorithms can basically tailor your experience based on your preferences, and even though cable TV offers a variety of packages, its still not worth the excess channels when looking at the price tags.
Widespread, personal technology devices along with increased social media usage could also be considered a strong contributor in the decline of Cable TV. In fact, social media and smart phones are also a major factor in how news is received overall. Many folks of the younger generation have turned to news sources on their smart phones, and major programming stations have been wise to adapt by providing many mobile news sites. Fox, MSNBC, CNN, and more have all turned to having their news available on mobile apps or mobile-friendly websites. Even major news sources that once previously dominated traditional printed newspapers have moved to subscription based online news. Many mobile apps can even gather multiple news sources all in one place, so users are free to examine the same topic from different articles all in a single mobile app.
With the introduction of smartphones and other devices ready for streaming, the 6:00 pm newsroom is quickly becoming a thing of the past. The good news is that with such readily available information there is an entirely new way for everyone to stay well-informed. Even non news stations are making the jump to devices such as apple TV, Roku, and more, including National Geographic, the History Channel, Comedy Central, and many more.