Disruption of the traditional cable TV market has been inevitable for a long time. People are always complaining about how high their cable bill is and the commercial advertising for cable companies almost always focuses on undercutting the prices of their competitors’ bills because of just how high the average cable bill is. 2017 could be the year that we see a massive switch from traditional cable to internet streaming TV. The options are there but are the prices aggressive enough? The answer? Yes. Should you think about cutting the cord? Check out the options below.
In recent years, there have been valid arguments against cord cutting as viable options didn’t seem to be abundant. A common misconception that people have about cord cutting is that it’s just as expensive as traditional cable. This false belief may stem from cable companies advertising prices as low as something like $49/per month despite that definitely not being the price you actually pay. In 2016, the average total cable bill was $103.10 per month. The average bill has been increasing every year since 2010 and it was actually reported by Leichtman Research Group that from 2011 to 2015, bills rose by 39% which was eight times the rate of inflation in the United States.
In the second quarter of 2016, more than 800,000 cable TV subscribers canceled their subscriptions. At that point, it was the largest exodus seen in the industry and that was when people’s options were just things like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Sling TV. While the first three of those options create their own content, they aren’t necessarily a perfect substitute to cable TV. I’m sure most of the class, or their families, use at least one of those streaming services, but as a compliment to actual cable TV. Sling TV on the other hand offers the streaming of live TV which would serve as a good substitute to cable. Other streaming applications, like HBO Go (or HBO Now) or Showtime Anytime require subscriptions to the companies themselves but allow for watching shows live or on demand. So, in 2016 the options were fair from perfect or ideal but still – a record of numbers switch.
Enter 2017. Enter YouTube TV. Enter Directv Now. Enter Playstation Vue. Stay Sling TV. Enter Soon Hulu.
YouTube TV has yet to officially roll out but it’s arrival into the market is highly anticipated. As seen above, the subscription is for $35 and offers an assortment of major television channels to be watched from an YouTube capable device. While this subscription service is clearly a competitor to traditional cable TV services, that isn’t the main market that Google is trying to hit. One of the main aims for Google’s service is to reach out to the YouTube generation and get them to pay for TV channels on YouTube alongside the usual video content that they consume on a regular basis.
As of right now, the traditional TV company seems to gain the most out of appealing to cord cutters. Unlike other traditional cable companies who are seemingly losing customers to internet TV options, DirectTV’s creation of it’s own option could be appealing. While it could become one of the more expensive options, it’s worth it. By offering add-ons such as HBO and Showtime for only $5 (well below the standalone price), they have the ability to lure customer’s away from their own traditional service and from competitors as well. Those that are predicting the internet TV market have predicted that DirectTV currently offers the best options for all the different types of customers. If none of the above was enough to convince customers, DirectTV’s always been great at offering promotions to customers and their streaming subscription service is no different. For those who sign up, DirectTV is offering the HBO add-on for free for a full year. As someone who has watched his father renegotiate his DirectTV cable bill multiple times, a lot of times you can get their promotions to continue past what they tell you.