Video streaming services are altering how the public consumes media and their options for doing so. Some of these changes are due to video streaming services, others enabled by technology. And some changes are occurring because media outlets have to find ways to make money as more people cut the cord. Let’s look into the future of home television.
Watch It When You Want To Watch
The biggest benefit of video streaming services is the ability to watch what you want when you want it. Whether you watch last week’s episode of a show today or binge watch the entire first season of a show after falling in love with it while watching the second season opener, video streaming services enable on demand video for people who don’t have DVRs and don’t want to wait or pay for the DVD set.
Binge watching is altering TV shows, too, because it is now worthwhile to please these fans with episodic story lines instead of standalone episodes. They try to entice people to stay engaged with the app or video streaming services with every season finale being a cliffhanger, too.
Cloud Based DVR
Digital video recording became more popular when cable companies started offering the hardware along with their cable boxes as an incentive to remain with the cable company. Cloud computing and data storage has become so cheap that services like VIDGO now allow you to store recorded shows and movies to a “cloud DVR”. This lets you not only eliminate the extra electronic device in your home but view what you recorded from anywhere, whether it is a local news broadcast, video game session or personal video played on a phone and shown on the TV. More people will learn about this function when the VIDGO release date for the full version is announced.
In-Show Product Placements
When you can skip the commercials when watching a show on the DVR or pay not to watch commercials because that’s annoying when you’re paying for access via a premium content app, what is a marketer to do? They could do what “Friday Night Lights” did and have characters work at an Applebee’s restaurant to integrate extended restaurant commercials into every episode. Product placements like branded vending machines and product boxes are appearing in more shows, and it gets amped up by characters talking about the new item they bought from XYZ company.
The Blending of PC and TV
You’ve had the ability to use a high resolution computer monitor as a television screen and smart TV for gaming for years. Video streaming services blur this line even more by letting you run an app on your computer to access streaming services like Hulu and Netflix when on your laptop, as well as watch these services on your smart TV. If you have the bandwidth, you can switch to watching streaming media on a smartphone or tablet as well. This means that your video streaming media can go where you do, whether you’re finishing that movie while on the train or moving the binge watching session to your tablet so you can continue watching shows while on the exercise cycle at the gym.
Pay as You Go Content Consumption
Cable companies are panicking about the rate at which people are cutting the cable. There is no point in paying $50 for just a few channels and $100 a month or more for a mid-level package plus video on demand / movie rentals. Budget conscious millennials in particular are cutting the cord and paying for services like Netflix or Amazon Price that cost around ten dollars a month. They then pay extra for some movies and premium content.
Given the range of free content through these services, they may get away with only paying $15 a month for their entertainment. If they are paying for premium access to shows and a constant stream of just released to digital format movies, then their cost may rival what they paid for cable.
What if you like subscription cable channels like HBO or Showtime? You can still switch to a video streaming service like Amazon and pay an extra $5-10 per month per premium channel like HBO Go. Or run Hulu or VIDGO and pay separately for the HBO GO app. The ability to switch to video streaming services and then add on other apps specifically for premium content one wants lets many consumers save a lot of money each month. And when the one show they wanted the premium app for is gone, such as HBO GO users ending their subscription when Game of Thrones is over, they can save money now instead of trying to get the cable service to end their premium channel package this month.
Video streaming services are allowing many customers to save on their entertainment costs while being able to watch content almost anywhere; a number of devices and services enable viewing almost any content at any time, too. The line between TV, computer and smart phone is blurring from a user perspective – they are all part of one’s options for viewing media. The ability to skip commercials is forcing shows to promote products in new ways within the episodes viewers cannot escape.