UNITED STATES—2018 was another great year of change in the consumer entertainment industry, specifically in television and cable. More people than ever are turning away from cable in favor of other cheaper and more flexible TV options, and millennials are at the forefront of this trend. Here are some of the top trends in cable TV and news streaming that we saw in 2018.
Reliance on Amazon & Netflix
One of the starkest adjustments we saw in 2018 was people cutting their cable plans altogether in favor of streaming shows on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, two of the most popular non-cable TV and movie providers.
Especially since these companies are now creating and hosting their own original TV shows – such as the highly lauded “The Marvelous Miss Maisel” on Amazon Prime TV and the crown favorite “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” on Netflix – these brands are really creating their own devoted followership.
Smart TVS are on the rise
Another trend that isn’t new, but grew significantly in 2018 is the increasing presence of smart TVs, like Apple TV, in homes. Some other popular smart player options are the Amazon Fire, Google Chromecase, Roku, and TivO Bolt. – so you can see how almost every major tech retailer is getting in on the Smart TV and device trend. With these smart devices, there’s a built-in capability for the device to stream television shows via the Internet. So for homes with Smart TVs, the incentive grew even higher to drop cable altogether and rely on smart TVs.
In addition, many modern televisions are “Internet-ready” without the help of a smart device, with apps such as Hulu and Netflix already built into their technology. We expect to see smart TV purchases to only increase in the next few years, eventually beating on standard TVs altogether.
Switching to Hulu
Speaking of Hulu, Hulu and its premium program, Hulu Plus saw a significant increase in purchases in 2018. Hulu stands out from platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime TV because it’s a more reliable extension of standard cable TV. With Netflix and Amazon Prime TV, new shows and movies appear and disappear from the platforms each month – you never know when the show you’re in the middle of watching may be scheduled to drop from availability.
With Hulu and Hulu Plus, you don’t have to worry about this, as Hulu Plus specifically offers a reliable alterative to cable TV, with multiple seasons of consumers’ favorite TV shows always available. And since the Hulu Plus cost is decently affordable, 2018 saw many families transition fully from a cable TV program to full-Hulu.
Into 2019 and beyond, we can certainly expect these trends to continue. Smart TVS and devices will continue to become more common in homes, and we can expect the cable TV industry to need to make some drastic reactive changes in response to the increasing availability of affordable streaming programs. Apple TV, Netflix, and Amazon Prime will continue to compete with each other as some of the top new tech providers in the space – only time will tell who will ultimately prove victorious.