Streaming shows online options as alternatives to traditional television

Watching television on the Internet instead of on a television has become a new trend for many


Some years ago who would imagine that TV series and shows would be so easily available that TV ratings would actually decrease? Before this material reached the audience in the Internet for a very low price, very few probably did. As it happened with rock ’n roll and newspapers, society has been living through a big revolution: the digital era. Thanks to that, people that have been connected have been slowly replacing TV, and now they have even a better reason for that with options like Netflix

It is easy to understand how successful this kind of business became. Websites like Netflix and Hulu offer the flexibility to watch, at any time, several different movie titles and TV shows in the computer, in some smart phones or even Internet plugged-in TVs. It makes unnecessary to go to a rental store most of the time, and it also ends being much cheaper.

Senior Spencer Grey said that what he likes the most about having such a resource is “having a wide selection of movies in the comfort of home, immediate streaming, no having to go to the rental store and I can watch it on my phone or computer or TV.”

Another relevant point is that viewers don’t have to wait for their favorite TV series’ next episodes. Even though DVR is a way to have all the episodes at once, Netflix is more convenient for impatient people when it comes to immediacy, once it releases the whole season at the same time, which may not please viewers that enjoy all of the suspense of the break between each episode.

It also saves a lot of time. Exchange student from Norway Simen Bjelland said that since his host family has Netflix at home, which was released in Norway at the end of last year, when he turns on the TV, he goes straight to Netflix. “[What I like the best is] that you can watch what they offer without commercial breaks.”

DVR also allows people to do that once they have recorded the show or the movie first. Again, Netflix strikes with immediacy, which pleases most part of the audiences.

What also saves time is that the website goes hard on personalization. It recognizes all of the movies and TV series watched so it can make recommendations according to the viewers’ tastes, which in the future may become much more accurate than it is now. According to Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, they want to go much further, investing even in voice and visual recognition.

With all of the pros, is Netflix replacing TV after all? “I see it more as a replacement for a rental store, but TV is better than streaming,” said Grey, who usually uses it to watch  previous episodes of his favorite TV series on the weekends.

It may not be, at least not yet, a huge threat for regular TV, but it definitely is for cable, which even after offering  more options is still much more expensive. According to Business Insider, 30 percent of young (age 18-24) Netflix subscribers have skipped cable, due to the fact that Netflix offers a good content and subscription streaming service for much less.

It may be early to say, but Netflix seems to be achieving it’s goal, and watching television may definitely change. For good.


A deeper look into each of the alternatives 


Netflix offers instant Internet streaming of selected television shows and movies with subscription. Netflix also offers a plan to their subscribers where they can order DVDs that can’t be watched instantly to be sent to subscribers in the mail.

$7.99 a month for unlimited online streaming of movies and TV shows.

Amazon Prime

Streaming movies and TV shows is available with an Amazon Prime membership. As a Prime member, you can receive unlimited instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows at no additional cost.

Annual membership is $79/year.


Hulu is a website offering ad-supported on demand streaming of TV shows, movies, webisodes, other new media, trailers, clips and behind-the-scenes footage from NBC, Fox, ABC, TBS and other networks and studios. Hulu allows limited amounts of time for some of their content to be available to the public. To be able to view the entire library of media, upgrade to Hulu Plus.


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