Are we witnessing the death of television? While Americans are consuming actual TV shows now more than ever, it’s how they’re consuming it that has cable providers spooked. Cord-cutting—forgoing satellite and cable TV subscriptions in favor of streaming options—is at an all time high, according to a new report from The Hollywood Reporter.
So while the quality of content being made for TV has never been better, watching television in the traditional way is hurtling towards extinction.
It even feels erroneous calling shows that were produced by streaming services like Hulu and Netflix “TV shows”. Should we start thinking about a new nomenclature? House of Cards was built for an online platform by an internet company. Doesn’t that make more of a web series than a TV show? Isn’t it all just video content?
Millennials sure think so. Young people have no interest in paying for expensive cable packages just so they can watch one or two shows on specific networks. That’s why networks like HBO have already launched their own on demand streaming services and why giant media conglomerations like Disney are following suit. For people not willing to say goodbye to live TV just yet, tech companies like Hulu and YouTube have already launched online live-TV services, joining an increasingly crowded “skinny bundle” space that already includes Dish Network’s Sling TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue.
Even sports—once seen as live television’s last great hope—are being gobbled up by streaming services. Hulu’s live TV package includes CBS, which means users have access to NFL games and March Madness. Earlier this week, Disney announced that ESPN’s streaming service will officially launch next year. America’s leading sports network has suffered the most as traditional cable and satellite subscription models become more and more obsolete, so it was sonly a matter of time before it adapted to the shifting landscape. And with the mass subscriber exodus only just beginning, expect other networks to follow suit sooner rather than later.