We would be hard pressed not to dub 2015 as the year of streaming video. Many experts expected the popularity of video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu (News - Alert) to rise over the course of 2015, but few could have predicted something so meteoric.
This is largely due to the boom of original content these providers rolled out in 2015. Netflix especially was able to capitalize on the success of its popular political drama House of Cards to expand their content into many other genres: from comedy (Aziz Ansari’s Master of None) to historical dramatizations (Narcos, which detailed the story of Pablo Escobar), and even superhero series (Flash and Jessica Jones, to name two). The content has been quality, and viewers love the fact that they can watch the shows as slow or as fast as they desire, as show “bingeing” (watching an entire season in a night or weekend) became ever more popular.
Despite this newfound popularity, many people still remain reluctant to “cut the cord,” or go without traditional cable or satellite television services. This stems largely from trepidation about missing live events, such as sports games or awards shows. But now, it seems the tide is beginning to turn.
With few exceptions, every event broadcast by ESPN (News - Alert) is available to stream online. NBC Sports similarly makes many of their available for a fee. Even the notoriously stingy National Football League streamed two games through Yahoo this season. In addition, network television channels are beginning to embrace live streaming as well: CBS announced it will make next year’s Grammy Awards show available for live stream.
Giving non-cable subscribers access to highly sought after live events may be the final piece in the puzzle to incentivize large amounts of people to ditch traditional television services forever. Lead by the popularity of streaming video services like Netflix, 2016 may well be the year that changes how people watch TV forever.