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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Mansfield

Is Streaming Becoming the New Cable?

When cable TV first came out, there were nowhere near the amount of ads that we see now. Cable subscriptions emerged because consumers felt they’d rather pay for subscriptions to cable, rather than viewing advertisement/commercial blocks. These subscriptions used narrowcasting to target audiences instead of the generic broadcasting formula. Sound familiar? Netflix, which has created its own proprietary software Cinematch, aims to create a personalized streaming experience based on viewers’ likes, interests, and viewing activity.

When Netflix first came out, it was less expensive than it is today. While Netflix doesn’t currently have advertisements, other streaming services do, with the most notable one being Hulu. In addition, people subscribe to streaming services because they were initially much cheaper than cable, and with a wide variety of selections. But as more and more media companies seek to make their own streaming services, will this still be the case?

For marketers, the industry will be changing, but it shouldn’t be altered too much. Although advertisements in streaming services aren’t currently the norm, Hulu, Netflix’s biggest competitor, already places advertisements in its media content, much like its cable predecessors do. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see other streaming services follow their lead, especially with Hulu’s rapid growth recently.

Some people are worried about the rise of streaming being the death of cable, but we aren’t so sure about that. For one, older folks are still more likely to have cable than a streaming service. In addition, with recent trends in price changes and a crowding marketspace, will the “advantages” that streaming has over cable be here for long? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, what should we, as marketers, do to prepare and evolve?

Now that live TV doesn’t have the influence that it used to and competition for consumers’ attention grows stronger, we need to start investing into different avenues of advertising. Next week, we’ll discuss some promising platforms for marketing, so stay tuned.

Interested in learning more? Here’s some more information from an article titled, “How streaming services are becoming cable all over again.”

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