Cord-cutting is a trend that began in the late 2000s with the rise of new streaming services. Many consumers were tired of expensive cable and tv packages and the lack of on-demand content. New platforms like Netflix and Hulu led many households to “cut the cord” and drop the more traditional packages for a more convenient and cheaper option.
In 2022, the trend is continuing with more and more streaming services launching, seemingly every day. But, is fully committing to the cordless entertainment experience the right move for you? There are certainly advantages to it, but there can also be drawbacks based on the kind of content you prefer. Let’s weigh the benefits with the costs.
On the surface, cord-cutting is cheaper
Even basic cable packages start around $45/month at the lowest end of the spectrum, with more premium plans costing upwards of $100/month. Seeing numbers like that makes OTT platforms much more attractive, with monthly subscriptions usually falling within the $10 to $20/month range. While most households will hang on to several different streaming subscriptions at the same time, the price of four or five platforms can still be cheaper than many cable packages.
Streaming cannot always replicate cable’s offerings
This is why streaming is cheaper “on the surface.” In order to replicate the many channels that a cable package typically does, it may be necessary to own more streaming options to make up the difference. This is especially apparent when it comes to local channels. They are included in most cable subscriptions, but streaming services often have to charge much more in order to include those specific options. At the end of the day, cord-cutting could be more expensive than a cable package if you are looking to retain the same amount of content.
Cutting the cord is more convenient
Streaming beats cable in terms of convenience every day of the week. Most of these services can be accessed anywhere with a wifi connection or mobile data. You can take these platforms on-the-go as well with devices like the Firestick or Roku, which you can plug into any smart tv and access your content. With a jailbroken Firestick, you can remove device restrictions and gain access to even more content than usual, making it a comparable option to larger cable packages. Accessibility and mobility give cord-cutting technologies a huge advantage over traditional television.
Some content is less dependable on streaming
This issue is especially true for watching live sports. While platforms like ESPN Plus are growing in popularity, they frequently run into issues that a cable connection manages to avoid. There are often area blackouts that viewers do not expect where a certain event is not available in a region where that particular game is being broadcast on a channel. Additionally, imperfect wifi signals and data interruptions negatively affect the experience of watching a sport via streaming, a problem that television channels do not experience. While many leagues are signing long-term deals with certain streaming platforms, consumers are often getting the short end of the stick with imperfect and inconsistent services.
More money is being poured into streaming
This turns the decision for consumers into an almost wait-and-see scenario. The worldwide trend is clearly moving towards streaming, and traditional channels are pouring money into this sector to keep up with its rising popularity. With all of the resources being dedicated to improving the user experience for these platforms, and creating better content, many of the shortcomings of cutting the cord could be fixed in the coming years. Sports streaming will likely improve in quality and availability, and more options should be available for lower costs within each service.
What is your ideal type of content?
That is the question that all of this comes down to. When deciding whether or not to commit to cutting the cord, are you looking for accessibility or more options? Do you own newer devices that will allow you to take content on-the-go? Or do you prefer more traditional means of entertainment that offers all-encompassing content? Even cable packages have availability on mobile devices, depending on what service you purchase. Fortunately for you, the various services allow you to customize a plan to your household’s entertainment needs. The market changes quickly, so you can always choose to wait and see what happens.
Before you decide to fully commit and cut all the cords, consider this; how will you get the most bang for your buck? Will the streaming platforms you subscribe to cost less than the cable package you would choose? And if so, are you getting the same level of content that you want? Weigh all of the options, find the services that will work best for you, (there are TONS to choose from, especially now), and then you can decide if you are ready to cut the cord.