Arts & Entertainment

The domination of online streaming

By: Allison Wisyanski ~Staff Writer~

Netflix and Amazon Instant have seen rises in viewership thanks to original shows and convenience

Streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Instant continue to bring in millions of viewers each day. Netflix and Amazon have risen to the top and attracted many to their endless shows and movies that may be streamed from computers and televisions. Netflix, specifically, has more than 36 million U.S. subscribers.

According to an August 2014 study conducted by the Leichtman Research Group, Inc., there are about 49,915,000 broadband subscribers compared to 49,910,000 cable subscribers, a fairly minimal difference. Over the past quarter, the majority of cable companies added approximately 380,000 new broadband subscribers. Cable, then, is well on its way to becoming secondary to broadband access.

Although Netflix and Amazon Instant have caused many to switch from cable to online streaming services, there are still approximately 50 million cable subscribers that have not yet signed up for these broadband services.
These streaming services are driving demand for broadband, but there are still plenty of cable subscribers to halt an internet-dominated future.

However, in the last half-decade, there has been a loss of millions of cable subscribers, while the number of broadband subscribers has increased significantly.

Featured on these online streaming services are wide arrays of shows that may be watched instantly and have thus taken away from traditional cable television
shows. It is a combination of the easy access to such programming and these original shows that have led many viewers towards online streaming. One of these popular new shows, “Transparent,” has been the new crave for broadband subscribers and continues the trend of critically-acclaimed, original shows that are broadcasted via online streaming.

“Transparent” premiered on Amazon Prime on Sept. 26 and will have its second season premiere on Feb. 6. Jeffrey Tambor plays the main character, Maura Pfefferman, a retired professor and divorcee with three children. A transgender woman, she is born as Morton L. Pfefferman and fears to open up to her family about always identifying as a woman. The show has received mostly positive reviews.

Among the pleased viewers, some disagreed and felt that the show finds neither comedy nor pathos in the characters’ tortured lives. Other popular shows such as the Emmy-winning “Orange is the New Black” and “House of Cards” round out the list of these original shows that services like Netflix have produced to attract viewers every day.

Ultimately, viewers will decide whether or not shows with progressive subject matter in addition to the services on online streaming will succeed in the future.