September 22, 2011
Here's the thing: Streaming is King

Christina Warren’s article on Mashable - How Digital Has Transformed the Home Video Marketplace - is an interesting read. And when I say “interesting,” I mean “confirms trends that I have noticed and participated in.”

Here are some interesting takeaways: “25% of adult respondents (with Internet access) have a Netflix subscription, and 88% of those users use the streaming library.”

She adds, “Keep in mind, this survey took place before Netflix raised its prices and separated its streaming and rental properties, but the fact that 1 in 4 adults subscribe to the service underscores the popularity of streaming as a business model and consumption habit.”

She also notes that, “ the most popular way to watch movies remains through broadcast television and cable. 

She is citing a May 2011 report prepared by market research firm Mintel, and notes that that report “was completed before HBO rolled out HBO Go, the first widely available TV Everywhere initiative. HBO Go has been tremendously effective, in part because it builds on two of the hottest trends amongst consumers: subscription streaming and watching premium cable content.”

Check out Mashable’s full story here: http://mashable.com/2011/09/22/consumer-trends-home-video/

I’ve noticed this pattern in myself over the course of the past couple of years. My wife and I moved to Atlanta a little over a year and half ago. At that time, to save money, we cancelled our cable TV subscription - that saved us about $100 a month. But we kept our Netflix sub.

When we first moved to town, most of home watching of TV shows and movies was via DVDs sent to us through the mail from Netflix, and Hulu for streaming TV shows (with the occasional visits to the (far more cludgy and far less user friendly) on-demand offerings of the various networks - WB, FX, A&E, etc. 

Netflix has been adding more and more streaming content. We’ve started watching more and more content streamed our way by Netflix. 

Then we got an iPad. We haven’t subscribed to Hulu Plus, and so can’t watch Hulu content on the iPad. But we can watch streaming Netflix content on it. And we do. 

And more and more of what we watch is streamed content - from whatever source, via whatever device. We’re still subscribing to the … what is it called now - Quickster? - DVD by mail plan, but get a lot more out of the Netflix streaming service. 

DVDs are going the way of CDs. I can’t remember the last time I bought a CD. I’ve downloaded plenty of music. But it has been ages since I bought a physical product with music recorded onto it. 

My wife and I are getting ready to move into a new house. And we’ve spent lots of timing packing stuff up and prepping for that move. Right now, I can see definite advantages to having music, and movies, and even books, stored in the cloud, rather than in the boxes and boxes that the wife and I are starting to pack. It’s so much easier to move an intangible asset, you know?

The trend is definitely moving away from the physical and towards the streaming. If you had asked me that question a year ago, I’m not sure I would have seen it the same way — “Well, we’re trying out our Netflix + Hulu plan to see if that provides us all the TV we need. I’m not sure …”

Now, I’m sure.

Charles Darwin has a posse

I’m including this picture for no real reason other than I like it.

  1. observedexperience posted this