From CBS to Showtime and now including HBO, with rumblings of ESPN on the way, stand alone streaming is poised to attempt to put cable in its place.
And that is on the outside looking in when it comes to consumers and how they feel about their skyrocketing cable bills and lackluster customer service.
Truthfully, ask any cable customer about their service and they'll be quick to respond with how much they loathe the big time cable companies for a bevy of reasons. The price is too high, the service is too low and they're looking for any reason in the world to get rid of costly cable and move on to something better.
Well, say hello to better.
That comes in the form of stand alone streaming, which is different from those aforementioned networks offering customers the opportunity to watch their shows and libraries of programming. HBO, Showtime and CBS have apps that customers who have cable can use to watch their shows anywhere, but you have to pay for cable to have this sort of convenience and access.
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These stand alone options from HBO and Showtime, for instance, cost in the neighborhood of $20 per month, but you don't need to also subscribe to cable to enjoy all of the shows on those networks.
For years, customers have talked about having the ability to peace meal together their own brand of cable without having to pay a huge lump sum monthly fee for channels they don't watch. How many times have you heard someone say, "I have 400 channels and watch a handful of them."
Turns out, someone finally was listening. The stand alone streaming takes a page out of the wildly popular Netflix model and should have cable companies really rethinking a lot of how they do business. If you can get away with paying less for your cable bill through dumping the fees, charges and additional money for equipment yet still have a decent selection of television to watch, why wouldn't you go the stand alone route?
Now, cable probably isn't taking this too seriously, at least not yet. They've done nothing to react to customers' groundswell of support against cable as it stands now, nor have they tinkered with anything new to keep themselves relevant in the wake of this uprising in technology.
Customers, for all the faults of the likes of Comcast and Verizon FIOS, still stick with cable most of the time for plenty of worthwhile reasons: they like the security of having cable or just the option of being able to watch what they want. There also is that "well, what if" approach to cable in that thinking dumping it might actually come back to bite you if there's that time something is on and you can't watch it.
Even still, you have to believe that cable is at least in some jeopardy with other, lesser expensive yet viable options on the table. Cable subscribers and the total number of them drops every year, so that is an indicator that something is taking them away in droves.
To think that it isn't streaming services or the new stand alone model is ignoring the obvious.
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