As if it wasn’t official before, cable and physical media are dieing and it’s being announced with as strong a voice as ever. According to the IHS Screen Digest. American viewers will watch 1 billion more movies online this year than on DVD and Blue-ray combined.
The information suggests that nearly 3.5 billion movies will be streamed online. That’s just movies! The trend towards streaming content is nothing new, but has really gained traction over the past year especially. An increase in Netflix offerings along with more awareness of other streaming services like Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus have made finding content easier than ever. On top of that, many content providers are offering their broadcast television shows online which gives users the freedom to watch their favorite programs on a schedule that fits their lifestyle.
Information not shown in the data are the numbers of users moving away from traditional cable and instead opting for a streaming device which brings all those streaming services and online content providers into one easy to navigate interface. Devices like the Roku and Boxee are gaining popularity while other users connect Windows from their laptop to a television for streaming content.
The migration away from physical media and cable television is beneficial for both consumers and content creators. Consumers benefit from lower costs and freedom to watch huge libraries of content on their own schedule while content creators gain viewers and avoid contract negotiations with cable providers. There’s still a bit of work ahead as older generations catch up with technology, but in the end physical media will die and cable television won’t be far behind.
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