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Netflix Factor: How the low cost streaming model has cable cowering
Posted: 03/10/14 by Tim Bean
Traditional cable television, say hello to the new kid on the block.
Online streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have traditional cable television and satellite providers contemplating their next movie, asking how they can continue charging $100 a month for their services when the aforementioned players check in for less than $10.
Cable television and satellite try to stay ahead of the curve by bundling services, offering internet and phone in conjunction with all your favorite channels. The lightning fast internet provided by the likes of Comcast and Verizon FIOS keep customers at bay and content to stay put, at least until that promotional period runs its course.
Then, that $79.99 bundle that lasted for 12 glorious months has skyrocketed to $200 or more.
That's when those tired and frustrated cable TV customers start looking for a viable option to their three digit bill.
Enter Netflix or Hulu.
These streaming sensations feature plenty of first rate entertainment in the form of sitcoms and movies, a more than decent array of titles for a pretty penny. Of course, you won't be getting the newest releases in most cases, but that's what Redbox, another entity that is cutting into the stranglehold previously held by cable TV, is for.
Netflix raised its game recently by beginning its forage into first run, original shows. That move blurs the lines between being a streaming service and a rogue television provider without a country. Think of Netflix as the Notre Dame of entertainment; independent and playing by their own rules.
And those rules aren't about to conform to a cable only sector again any time soon. Take a look at the latest television model put forth by World Wrestling Entertainment, the professional wrestling and entertainment juggernaut that scores four million viewers each week with its television programming.
They're launching their own “network,” but not within the confines of a cable provider. Rather, they're streaming all of their back events, shows and matches straight to a tablet, phone or laptop near you.
If this idea takes flight, who is to say more won't try it.
Who is to say, however, that the playing field or sandbox isn't big enough for everyone?
Combining the likes of Netflix and cable could be the best of both worlds: saving money and having the entertainment you want at your beckon call. Between the aforementioned cable internet service and the movies and TV touted by Netflix, you can keep your communications bill under $100 and still engage in enough pop culture to stay relevant.
Kudos to Netflix for nabbing more than just a small spot under the entertainment spotlight but rather carving out a nifty niche in an ultra-competitive industry. They've grown considerably in recent years but probably won't dethrone giants like Comcast and Verizon any time soon.
But Netflix will, in fact, keep those cable communications companies on the tip of their toes.