With the spread of the Internet, television, like paper books and the theater, was predicted to face a quick death. But the world wide web not only did not lead to the collapse of the television industry, but even strengthened its position by only slightly transforming the format: streaming media, which distribute their content via the Internet, intercepted the initiative of the “traditional” TV companies.
Why more and more people choose streaming services?
Netflix and alike haven’t killed TV so far. As Netflix states, around 70% of their subscribers prefer to watch streamed content on TVs, and not on PCs or phones as one may expect. However, it looks like streaming services, also known as over the top, may soon take over traditional pay-TV packages. In the first quarter of 2018, a number of subscribers to UK’s most popular streaming services, namely Amazon, Netflix and Sky’Now TV has reached 15.4 million which is 0.3 million more than the number of subscribers of pay-TV services.
According to statistics, every minute, 6 individuals decline cable television memberships. The reason that customers are dropping their registrations is not a secret: cable television is pricey, and streaming options are much more affordable.
With over the top services, the users feel like they only pay for the content they really want to watch, which is extremely appealing. Moreover, streaming services are just more convenient to use. Although, most users prefer watching Netflix on TV, it is still great to have more options at your disposal, and to watch the last episode of your favorite show on the go on your smartphone. More user-friendly interface and no interruptions for annoying ads are a few more selling points of streaming services versus traditional TV. The very search process is simple and straightforward as well: one can find any desired show or film whenever he or she wants, and broadcast schedule is no longer an issue to worry about.
However, not all the users across the globe have the same access to content distributed by streaming services. Some services are only available in a few countries: Hulu, for example, is locked outside the US and Japan. Netflix is more ubiquitous, but its libraries differ across the countries. If you are not from US or UK, your choice will be extremely limited – copyright rules apply to Netflix content just like with shows broadcast through traditional TV. This is where a reliable VPN client comes into play. VPNs help users to bypass geographical restriction by assigning an IP of a desired country the users device. By connecting to US servers, one can stream Netflix US and Hulu.
It is worth mentioning though, that streaming services themselves are not quite happy with users resorting to VPNs to unblock content they are not supposed to have access to. Pressure coming from copyright owners led to notorious Netflix ban and Hulu ban – the services block IPs associated with VPNs. As of today, not all the VPNs can help you unblocking streaming service. ExpressVPN, NordVPN and CyberGhost are the few that still work in 2018. Therefore, consider reading a ExpressVPN/NordVPN reviews if you need a VPN for purposes other than streaming (they are quite pricy) or Cyberghost VPN review if streaming with no limitations is your only concern (it’s really affordable if you go long-term).
The future of TV industry
When speculating on the future of TV industry, most experts agree that over the top services will one day oust traditional pay-TV. The most probable scenario is that the service that will manage to become a super-aggregator that will allow users to get access to all the possible content through universal search with no need to jump between a number of devices like Smart TV, Chromecast, Xbox, and alike. Moreover, this super-aggregator should take into account the fact that original and engaging content is now in demand. And finally, it will have to somehow cope with all sorts of regional, temporal or particular channel/service-related restrictions that still apply to all content nowadays as a legacy of the old-school way of running media business.