As we enter a new decade, we are noticing a battle between our major streaming services and its effects on television and conventional cable. Since the introduction of Netflix’s streaming service in 2007, we’ve noticed more and more online streaming services arise and compete with one another. Streaming services have successfully offered us a reliable alternative to watching our favorite shows whenever we want them. After Netflix came more services such as Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now and Disney+.

Comparing The Different Streaming Services

We’ve seen Netflix grow as a company streaming hundreds of tv shows and films eventually creating popular Netflix Originals such as “Stranger Things”. Early last decade, Netflix was everyone’s go-to streaming service because it seemed like everything was on Netflix. There were thousands of shows and movies from big names including HBO and Disney until those big names split from Netflix and created streaming services of their own (hence HBO Now and Disney+). As of 2020, Netflix lost the ability to stream the hit tv sitcom “Friends” which cost about $100 million. Unfortunately with Netflix’s inability to bring in as many big names as they have in the past, they continue to lose user’s interests causing them to cancel their subscriptions. 

Hulu, on the other hand, includes a larger library and the ability to pay for Live TV to stream live sports, news and new episodes from your favorite tv show while still granting unlimited access to the entire library. At $54.99/month, comparable to the price of a cable package, Hulu + Live TV becomes the most expensive of all the streaming services available.

Disney+, only being $6.99/month, gained over 10 million subscribers on its release. Many users enjoyed the idea of being able to stream their favorites from the Disney vault, every episode of The Simpsons and of course the Disney+ exclusive “Star Wars” TV Series “The Mandalorian” (which also gained huge popularity for Baby Yoda). 

Survey Says…

We asked 50 different users what streaming services they are subscribed to. 

Here are our results:

All 50 users are currently subscribed to at least 2 or more services. 94% of users are subscribed to Netflix and 20% of these users preferred or frequented this service the most out of all the ones they are subscribed to. Hulu fell behind with 72% of users subscribed and 17% preferring this service over others. 14 users mentioned they are also subscribed to other services such as AT&T, Direct TV, Crunchyroll, HBO, and Showtime. 9 Netflix users said that “Friends” was their most frequented TV show before it was removed. About 30% of these users say that they mostly use their streaming services for the large libraries of movies. One user expressed that he “is not really into movies” therefore canceling his Netflix subscription.

What does this mean for the future of television and traditional cable? 

People all over the world have canceled their cable subscriptions and subscribed to an online streaming service. Many people who subscribe to online streaming services are usually subscribed to more than one. You’re probably wondering what option is better for your wallet. For 125+ channels, the price of a cable package from Xfinity is about $60/month. If you are subscribed to Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Now at their basic prices you spend about $30/month. Subscribing to only online streaming services seems like the better budget choice until you decide to subscribe to add ons such as Live TV.

Cable may not have disappeared just yet but streaming services have definitely changed TV for the better giving us a new way to consume entertainment. As the competition grows we expect to see the quality of these platforms also grow in the future.