We can all remember when it happened right? The big CCE (Cord-Cutting Epiphany)!
My cord-cutting epiphany came after my cable service hiked its price up for the fifth year straight. I remember it clearly, like the birth of my child, or that time I stepped on a plug in the darkness.
Then streaming services multiplied and divided movie and show catalogs up like a turkey on Thanksgiving…
$15 for Hulu without ads, $15 for Netflix, $15 for HBO Max, $7 for Disney Plus, $10 for Prime, $7 for Peacock, etc. And that is without live sports…
Looking back, were the service hikes and long-term commitments to cable actually worth it?
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It’s our fault we’re in this mess
Once upon a time, cable had all the stuff we loved to watch because content producers had no other options. Then Netflix showed a bit of thigh and content producers became seduced.
With this abundance of talent, Netflix and other streaming services grew. Cable, which couldn’t take risks, took a shotgun blast to the chest. Brutal, but accurate.
The blood splatter on the wall made big studios hedge their bets and license content to Netflix and Co. This left cable in critical condition.
Then, those big studios stepped on a three-pronged plug and had an epiphany of their own…
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If Netflix and Co. can do it, why can’t we?
So, here we are. Beyond the crazy acquisitions phase. A phase where old licensing deals come to an end and everybody (even content creators) got gobbled up into a service.
The reality is, wherever our favorite shows and movies end up will determine what service we subscribe to.
- This model is exactly like premium channels on cable
- I like different content. To get it all, I need several services. Before, I only needed a single cable plan.
The simple solution might be to go back to cable then, but I can’t. Watching cable now is like suffering an Internet outage. You can’t quite understand how life was before WiFi, or in cable’s case, what life was like before on-demand.
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The real price of cord-cutting
In reality, these streaming services are essential if you want to watch something good. Because “good” has become exclusive per service.
For $65, I get Prime, Netflix, Apple TV+, Peacock, Showtime, Disney+, and HBO Max. That could be everything my family wants, but then I need to add sports!!!
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So the question has cord-cutting become more expensive than cable? In my experience, it has. But for others, it will depend. No household is the same.
The bigger surprise is that with all these streaming services, to keep people subscribed, shows are released to a schedule, or swapped out completely for a time. What this has done is make streaming into cable 2.0, where you are hopping between services, waiting for content to release, and hoping to find something to watch.
Wasn’t it simpler when it was just Netflix?