There’s a reason newer models of laptops don’t have optical drives for DVD’s/CD’s. There’s a reason services like Netflix and Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant are receiving more and more popularity. It’s because cable television is becoming a thing of the past.
People want their media when they want it, not when it’s on television. The average person likely has a lot on their plate, whether they’re a college student or a professional or a parent, or somehow, all three. It’s a lot easier to consume media at your own pace. Of course, there’s the option of recording shows and movies, but then you have the issue of the memory being clogged by unwatched episodes of American Idol (is that still on?).
I would argue that the demographic that should ditch their cable subscriptions once-and-for-all are college students. Admit it: if you’re a college student, you don’t have much time to be watching television, nor do you have the budget to be throwing away close to a hundred dollars per month for a service that you probably don’t really use (or shouldn’t be using). How many college students regularly utilize the majority of the stations made available? In fact, how many people in general utilize all of the stations they pay for? Economically, it makes much more sense to pay maybe $20 a month if you subscribe to more than one streaming service, rather than much more than that for cable.
A lot of people are canceling their cable subscriptions in favor of streaming services. It’s easier and more attainable—you can watch it on your laptop, on your television, on your phone, etc. And, if more people subscribe, the companies take notice that there is more demand, and will increase the variety of television shows and films they have available. So, if your reason to not subscribe is due to a lack of selection, well, your subscription could likely change that fact.
Back to college students. Maybe some people that are more old-fashioned like to watch the live television shows that are on before and after their work day is finished—game shows, live news, sports games, etc. College students’ schedules are more erratic. Not many students are waking up early to watch the news, nor are they watching Jeopardy at 7 p.m. (unless they’re me).With subscription-based services, they have access to their media at all times and in all different locations—in between classes, late at night, in the library, on the toilet—and all are times and places you really shouldn’t be watching TV. But, that’s not what we’re talking about here.
Maybe Netflix makes it too easy for us to procrastinate, to binge watch shows when we really should be studying for exams. But that’s an issue of time management, and is not the fault of the companies that provide the services. It’s actually more conducive to proper time management, as instead of scheduling your productivity around when your television shows are on, you can schedule your viewing schedule around when you do your work (or choose not to do it).