Twenty years ago, movie rental companies like Blockbuster ruled the roost and meant that the iron law of shelf stock determined when you would see any given movie. With the rise of Netflix, first launched in 1997, the entertainment industry was forever changed. In 2000, Netflix had only about a quarter of a million subscribers; today that figure stands at over sixty million. Given that there are only fifty million cable television subscribers, it’s clear that Netflix is not just the entertainment entree but the main dish itself. What’s the big appeal of combining Netflix with cable television?
A decade ago, it would have seemed to be a major non sequitur to say that Netflix would win a Golden Globe — much in the same way it would be odd to say that Macy’s would win a Red Carpet fashion award. Netflix is putting out television shows that are original and compelling enough to rival the largest entertainment providers in cable and pay-per-view television. Around three million tuned in to watch the season premiere of Netflix’ signature political thriller series, House of Cards. What’s more, their Orange is the New Black prison drama is among the most-downloaded television shows in history. If you enjoy marathoning excellent TV, it’s no longer enough to have just cable, which is why so many Americans have invested in both cable and streaming.
How many different ways can you stream Netflix or competitors like Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, or HBO Go? There’s the standard option of watching them on your 60′ flatscreen, but just as many enjoy watching on their 4′ smart phone. The mobile mania has allowed streaming services to put their brand and products into every persons’ pockets, while streaming to tablets like iPads allows users to watch from any room in the house or while on break at work. Finally, the integration of streaming services into video game consoles like Xbox One or Playstation 4 systems gives gamers the ability to seamlessly switch from deathmatch shooters to television shows. Cable television isn’t feeling the pinch, however: more people prefer to retain cable and streaming in tandem, which is why cable apps like TV Everywhere have skyrocketed in popularity. TV and Internet Bundles are common ways of saving money on both sources of entertainment media and offered by every provider under the sun.