One very clear trend I have seen, among my peers, who are just now renting their first apartments is that everyone is opting out of getting cable. When did cable die? I grew up on cable, and it wasn’t always about television shows, it was about the news and interviews with influential world figures. Then I got busy with school, completing college applications, and not getting home until 11 pm each night. I stopped watching television because television stopped fitting into my schedule.
Then I went to college and for four years and I was constantly busy, and the only television shows I had time to watch were the ones that were recorded on the television in my sorority house. I did not follow shows on a regular basis, I would watch one or two episodes every now and then when someone else was playing a recording.
Upon graduation, is it any wonder then that I opted out of paying for cable? For arguably the previous eight years of my life television had been utilized less and less. My situation is not universal, there are some who have had a completely opposite experience, for example one girl in my sorority kept a spreadsheet of her favorite shows and the times they aired so she could follow each one of them. However, she was the only friend I had who was so devoted to following her shows.
At dinner with friends post-graduation, the topic of television and shows always comes up and the conversation always comes back to what channel or subscription service we watch everything on. Most of my friends have chosen to stick with Netflix or Hulu or Amazon Instant over traditional cable. When we have a discussion of world events we are citing articles online, not our nightly news as our sources.
There has become a separation of fiction and nonfiction. During the day, we are reading articles on the web. We are getting to those articles from our social media networks most of the time, twitter. At night, when we are home and trying to relax we are following the latest television drama on Netflix. It’s comforting in most respects to view genres and be able to select whether we want to laugh, cry, or be terrified for the next 90 minutes of our life. That’s something you don’t always get to pick during the day, in the news. It’s about control and now we are able to control the content we watch, down to the speed at which we watch it.
It was no surprise then when earlier this week I learned of the Supreme Court agreeing to hear the Aereo case. There has been a lot of speculation on the part of journalists and myself as to what this could mean for cable networks. Is this case cable’s swan song?
While I’ll have to wait some time before getting my answer to that question, I leave you with this infographic (via Business Management Degree) which portrays an interesting battle. If all of the twenty-somethings and I start switching over will the battle come between subscription services like Amazon and Netflix?