Over the past few years, the rise of online streaming has led to a mass exodus of cable TV customers. But before you blindly follow your peers, it may be wise to take a few moments to consider the implications.
Cord Cutting Statistics
Cord cutting has become more popular by the year. In 2017, there were 24.9 million cord-cutters – consumers who have cancelled traditional cable contracts and never resubscribed. In 2018, there were an estimated 33 million.
At the same time, streaming video services are experiencing dramatic growth. Netflix has roughly 147.5 million users. Amazon Prime Video (88.7 million), Hulu (55 million), and HBO Now (17.1) boast pretty impressive customer bases, too. Furthermore, most cable services are now offering their own streaming packages that can be accessed through platforms like Roku and Apple TV.
But while the cable industry appears to be drying up, millions of Americans still find it to be the most convenient, useful, and cost-effective option. The question is, is it right for you?
5 Reasons Cord Cutting Might Not be a Good Option
Cable TV isn’t obsolete, nor will it become so in the near future. There’s still a market for it and you may be an ideal consumer. Here are some reasons to keep the cord right where it is:
Not everyone is big on change. If you’ve been with your cable provider for years – perhaps even decades – you might be in a place where you’re comfortable with what you have. Switching to a streaming package could be undesirable. Nobody will judge you for sticking with what you know.
2. Better Channel Lineup
Everyone wants to talk about how much cheaper streaming services are, but don’t be fooled into thinking you’re comparing apples to apples.
“Each streaming service has its own library of shows and movies,” InMyArea explains. “In order to get all of the shows that you watch on TV, you’ll probably have to purchase several different streaming service memberships.”
Cable TV, on the other hand, offers hundreds of channels. You don’t have to compromise and switch between apps. It’s all there in a single feed that’s accessible and easy to use.
3. Live Sports
For live sports fans, streaming TV packages simply aren’t up to par with the mainstream cable lineups that are out there.
“In many cases, you’ll have a hard time finding your favorite sporting events without a TV package,” industry insider Casey Pearce writes. “If you’re an NFL fan who wants to spend fall Sundays on your own couch, you don’t really have options outside of a traditional cable TV or satellite subscription. While streaming services offer the ability to watch some live sports on mobile devices, most of them like WatchESPN require you to also subscribe to their channel via your cable company.”
Things get even more difficult if you watch regional teams and college sports. Streaming services are catching up, but they aren’t as practical as they need to be.
4. Poor Internet Service
How’s your internet service? If you’re going to stream, it needs to be really good. If you’re planning on streaming on multiple devices at once, it needs to be exceptional.
Many streaming services buffer, freeze up, and produce low image quality – particularly when it comes to major viewing events like the Super Bowl or Oscars. With cable television, this isn’t an issue.
5. Bundled Services
On the surface, it seems like cutting the cord will lower your monthly bill. However, it’s not always as simple as it appears on the surface.
For example, let’s say you’re currently bundling your home phone, internet, and TV for $160 per month – with $100 of this bill going towards cable. You might assume that you could just cancel the cable, pay $60 per month for internet and phone, and then pick up a streaming service for $30 per month. However, most cable companies are going to significantly increase the price for internet and phone when you do this. As a result, you’ll probably just break even.
Make Your Own Decision
TV and entertainment isn’t one-size-fits-all. For some people, streaming packages are perfectly adequate. For others, cable TV continues to be the optimal solution – promising greater reliability, better channel lineups, and peace of mind. But at the end of the day, it’s up to you to reach a decision that makes you happy!