From Netflix to HBO GO to HULU, television streaming apps reside at the top of the food chain. With booming Netflix originals such as “Bird Box” and “Stranger Things,” it can seem like cable television often falls out of the daily routine of many and are replaced with subscriptions to America’s most commonly used providers.
In 2017, Netflix officially surpassed U.S. cable companies as they hit their 50.85 million subscriber mark, exceeding cable companies’ 48.61 million. According to Forbes, in the past five years, the growing company doubled its subscriber count by 27 million while traditional cable television companies simultaneously dropped by 4 million. While the rising empire of television streaming networks arguably formed as a simple consequence of our time’s dependence on technology, the dethroning of cable T.V. disregards the many fundamental programs it provides.
News stations, sports games, talk shows and even NBC’s “The Voice” are all substantial parts of cable television that contribute to American culture. However, on average, the typical adult spends 18 minutes less per day watching traditional television compared to two years ago. Unlike television streaming apps, cable television provides real-time programs on a live and national level. In the same way that people from coast to coast can view the same show at the same time, a specific sense of unity blossoms through cable television that we can’t afford to lose.
The main incentive for many to drop cable and take up a streaming app often comes down to cable’s median $62 a month versus Netflix’s $9 a month. However, before making the leap to a cable-free life, there are a few things to consider. Primarily, in the same way that Netflix can’t stream breaking news, just-released episodes of your favorite show can’t be accessed either. For some shows, it can take months or even a year before they hit a streaming app. For instance, they released the popular show “Gilmore Girls” to the public October 5, 2005. However, it did not hit Netflix until November 25, 2016.
Although today’s technology continues to develop, it’s important to not let go of the fundamental electronics.