It’s hardly earth-shattering news: TV is declining. Especially since the emergence of streaming services in the late 2000s, viewers have turned to more affordable and convenient options as their viewing habits shift. Will traditional broadcast television be able to adapt to the new entertainment landscape, or will alternative viewing methods keep eating away at its numbers?
On-demand media streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Max, and Disney+ are arguably among the biggest culprits in plummeting viewing figures for TV.
Streaming platforms offer a wide array of content. Even if catalogues are sometimes dependent on geographical restrictions, this is easily resolved with inexpensive tools such as VPNs.
Accessible via desktop (Windows and MacOS) and mobile devices, services like ExpressVPN essentially allow you to encrypt your data and mask your IP address, which means you can access films and TV shows exclusively available in other regions.
In addition, one of the greatest advantages of on-demand streaming services is affordability. TV’s declining viewership forces it to rely more on advertising, which in turn leads viewers to turn to streaming, owing to the fact there are no commercials on most platforms.
All this contributes to the popularity of streaming, as most viewers prefer to pay for a streaming service that’s tailored to their viewing preferences rather than for a wider but costlier bundle of cable channels.
Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) has been around for over two decades, but its implementation has become a lot more sophisticated in recent years. The advantages of IPTV, including its accessibility and flexibility, made several users switch to this format.
However, although IPTV is a threat to cable and satellite TV, it’s not a threat to TV as a whole – in fact, it’s a promising way in which TV could remain relevant, albeit in a new format. IPTV is not only more cost-effective than broadcast TV, but it also give viewers more control over what they watch and can be accessed from different devices.
The Final Verdict
The popularity of IPTV is a big tell on what’s to come for the future of cable and satellite television, and the impact of streaming platforms poses a threat even to television as a whole.
However, it might be a bit too early to predict such a drastic shift in the entertainment industry.
Also, events such as live sports or elections indeed require a broadcasting apparatus that’s still unique to live television – so far, streaming can’t match this.
Even satellite and cable TV won’t disappear overnight (if ever), especially if we consider that there are still many homes worldwide without access to high-speed internet, an indispensable requirement of any internet-based alternative.
To conclude, although the popularity of alternative viewing formats like streaming is undeniable, we would say television as we know it is too widely established to disappear completely, and it is likely to stick around for longer than most people would guess.