Who needs cable? Streaming makes entertainment easier, cheaper


Katherine Poley

The streaming era has finally arrived, taking over how we access movies, shows, and music.  

“Streaming” was applied in the early 1990s with the creation of Starlight Networks for video and audio streaming. To most people, the name “Starlight Networks” is unfamiliar because the technology company has been revolutionized and repackaged by companies like YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, Pandora, and Hulu. 

These services acquire their content by getting license rights for TV shows and movies for a certain period of time. That explains why some titles have been removed from them.

There are many pros to streaming services. For example, the streaming era in music offers up more, cheaper sources of songs. In terms of affordability, there is no competition between cable TV vs. streaming. The average cable package is $105, while Hulu Plus or Netflix is less than $10 a month. Although a high-speed internet connection is required, Netflix has adopted a new feature where you can download episodes on the go. For me, this makes traveling on planes so much easier.

These services are slowly taking away business from cable companies. It is getting harder and harder for people to justify paying up to $200 for cable. With the launch of Disney+ in November 2019, established industry leaders like Hulu, Netflix, HBO Go, and Amazon Prime are facing new competition. If an industry got us to pay $200 for content once a month, I predict that they will figure out a way to get us to pay $200 for a month for content again. And with so many streaming services coming out, we may end up there with streaming alone.