Everyone has heard at least one horror story about their cable company. These major conglomerates are notorious for sticking it to their customers, either by overcharging, or providing inferior service. Is it any wonder that people are looking for cheaper, better options? Even with shoddy service, some of the big cable companies are making money hand over fist, all at the expense of the cable watcher! But what would happen if these companies weren’t able to limit their competition anymore? Would the entire system come crashing down around them? It’s certainly a strong possibility, and they’re starting to feel the effects already. Here are 5 reasons that cable companies are (albeit slowly) going out of business:
- Legal streaming options
Just a few years ago, Netflix was an unknown; today, it’s a household name. The same goes for Hulu Plus, Shomi, Amazon:TV and CraveTV. This continued rise in legal streaming services are already giving cable companies a run for their money, and this trend is going to continue. Let’s be real: would you rather pay $20 a month for movies and up-to-date episodes of your favourite shows, or $50 a month for cable (and commercials!). With the ever-expanding services of these platforms, and new ones arriving on the scene in the not-too-distant future, the need for cable may just be obliterated forever. You’re going to see these streaming options expand even more in the next decade or so.
- Poor Customer Service
Consumers have had just about enough of poor service, from all companies, not just cable companies. Up until now, the executives and CEO’s haven’t cared a lick about customer service – why worry about a few customers when you’re still making gobs of money and you have the monopoly of the marketplace? There’s no incentive for them to keep their customers happy, or treat them with respect. But they weren’t counting on the popularity of streaming services and the ire of customers. Once more options become available and more well known, this poor customer service is going to bite these cable companies where it hurts.
- Apple TV, Amazon:TV, Vue and other Streaming options
This is definitely a potential cable-killer, as more people turn to alternative sources for their favourite shows. Vue is run through Playstation 3 and 4, and allow users to choose specific channels in a bundle. Compare that to cable companies who offer large bundle packages for channels we never use (ever had to pay $15 for a bundle of channels when you really only wanted one specific one)? These options are all about getting the channels you want, when you want, at a price that won’t break the bank. Imagine paying for only the channels you’re actually going to watch. What a concept, right? This definitely has the potential to shut the cable companies down for good.
Kodi, formerly known as XBMC, is an all-inclusive platform that lets you watch movies, listen to music and watch just about every show imaginable, from all over the world (what a great way to brush up on your Russian). An open source media player, it is now available on a range of devices. It runs on Windows, iOS, OS X and Android. While there is a bit of a learning curve to installing, running and using it, this has the potential to blow away the cable companies and leave them in the dust.
Let’s face it: piracy is here to stay. While no one is condoning this practice, it has become a popular way to get all of the latest music, movies and TV shows. What’s ironic is that the more the law tries to oppose and shut down piracy, the more creative internet piracy bandits become. There are just too many people in too many countries working to keep it alive. As Hollywood and cable providers become fiercer in their fight against piracy, the fire will be fueled by those who will do just about anything to make sure it stays around forever.
So does this mean you should sell your TV, and call your cable company to tell them exactly what you think of them? Well, yes and no (it never hurts to complain to the cable guys, they just won’t listen). The great thing about all of these options is that you can use your smart phone, your tablet or your TV to watch your favorite shows. And this doesn’t just mean sitcom episodes or movies; you can watch up-to-the-minute newscasts, so you always know what’s going on in the world.
It doesn’t look like the cable companies are going to ‘get with it’ any time soon; that leaves things wide open as far as opportunities for companies like Netflix and Apple. Perhaps the cable company CEO’s will wake up when they get their severance packages.