Students migrating media consumption to streaming services

According to NBC News, streaming services represent 34.8 percent of total television usage with some of the most popular services being Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Prime Video.

While attending the football game at the UNI on Friday, Sept. 9, 25 students from the junior highs and the high school were surveyed about whether they still have channels on their televisions or if their families have fully made the switch to streaming. Of these 25 students, just eight of them currently have the TV channels that are just a memory of the past to the 17 that use only streaming. Three students with cable mentioned that they only use streaming services but still have the channels on their TVs. 

Regarding high numbers of people switching over to streaming services, Cedar Falls Utility Communications Sales Specialist, Dustin Halter said, “We have not seen one year with larger numbers of a customer dropping service. What we are seeing is a slow and steady decline of customers each year.” 

Halter said he believes that the reason for this decline is because of cost, with many customers that are dropping service moving to platforms such as Hulu Live or YouTube TV. 

Regarding whether  the pandemic made a huge difference with media watching, Halter said, “I do not believe COVID-19 made much impact in customers dropping service. We may have seen fewer losses because people were home more watching TV.” 

For upcoming trends in media, Halter said, “What we will see in the future is more channels splitting off and having their own streaming service. Customers will then be able to select and pay for the service they want. You will end up getting less but the service will be more individualized.”

Holmes freshman Sydney Doyle said streaming is “giving us less time to focus on things because we’re watching more TV on streaming services because we have access to it on demand at all times. I think they’re good in moderation.” Doyle confirmed that she uses YouTube TV most often.

Holmes freshman Kaylee Stitchman said, “I prefer streaming over cable. There’s no waiting for commercials. It’s easier.” Stitchman also mentioned that she uses Netflix most frequently out of all of her family’s streaming services.

Holmes freshman Marie Darst said, “I think they’re negatively affecting teenagers because it can become very addicting. After you watch one episode it will play the next episode for you so you’re just binging. They’re good to entertain yourself, but there’s other stuff that you could be doing rather than sitting on the couch and watching Netflix. I think the trend will continue and even get worse.” Darst said she personally uses Netflix the most but out of her whole family, YouTube TV is used the most.

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