Coronavirus could be the final nail in the coffin for cable television
CHICAGO, IL, April 28, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — Since its invention in the 1920s, the [physical] television has become a staple accessory in homes across America. However, the way in which we consume the content over that television has changed dramatically over time, none more so than in the last 3 years – and increasingly in the last year. Vast development in technology has led to an increasing number of homes ‘cutting the cord’ and ditching traditional cable providers delivering via a wire in favor of the countless streaming services that are now available, redefining the very definition of TV. Let’s step back, given the evolution – and confusion – of the word “TV” or “Television” and the definition attributable to it. Whenever we refer to television or TV, we are referring to the content itself, such as sports programming, movies, shows and the like, and not the physical box that is plugged into the wall or device that displays this content. Viewed in this perspective, TV can be delivered in two primary methods: (1) over a physical wire into your home or business that actually carries the content, which could come from the street, an alley behind your house or building or from a satellite service, such as DirecTV or Dish Network or (2) over the Internet, which as long as you are connected to it, you can gain access to that same content available over the wire, along with any other entertainment that is available over the Internet. For ease of communication, we’re going to refer to the first method as “Wired TV” and the latter one as “Streaming TV” throughout this article.
To this evolution, home builders and real estate developers have followed suit by constructing new apartments, condominiums and single-family homes with only access to the Internet – just ask Mike Moceri of Moceri + Roszak, who just opened Parkline Chicago, offering luxury condominiums in downtown Chicago starting at $1.5 million, along with nearly 200 apartment rentals, “You just don’t need it any longer (referring to Wired TV); all you need is the most robust Internet connection you can find,” Moceri states, “for our group, installing multiple Internet providers, with telephone and cable television wiring and services, doesn’t make sense anymore. It became wasteful when only 3% of the residents sign up for something other than Internet. By accommodating all this infrastructure, it adds significant cost to the project’s budget along with taking up space and adding operating expense to deal with all of these companies once the property is leased and managed.” Jordan Karlik of JK Equities seconds this, “All you need is bandwidth these days, and a reliable provider like Everywhere Wireless, even in luxury condo projects like our development at 1400 West Monroe.”
In the last two decades, technology has evolved at an incredible pace. At the turn of the millennium, for instance, the Internet was still in its infancy. By 2005, YouTube was launched, giving consumers a platform to upload and share videos for free. Quite often in those early days, those videos were illegally recorded TV programs.
YouTube was just the first paving stone toward the streaming world we live in today, and by the time Netflix launched online in 2007, viewers began embracing this new way to consume TV content. Fast forward to 2021, and the Streaming TV industry is now worth $50.1 billion globally, and 62% of American adults now subscribe to at least one streaming service – with over 73 million subscribed to Netflix alone.
As the Streaming TV industry boomed in recent years, Wired TV, delivered primarily by phone lines and coaxial cable (i.e. Comcast, AT&T, RCN), has declined significantly, dropping by almost 7 million households last year, alone. This transition has redefined the definition of TV and led to a flurry of these and other Wired TV providers switching their business models to appeal to the new Streaming TV-focused consumer. For example, satellite TV giant DISH Network launched Sling, NBC/Comcast unveiled their Peacock service, CBS/Viacom responded with their Paramount Network and HBO launched its new streaming service, HBO Max. Then, in March of 2020, AT&T released AT&T TV, essentially prompting all its customers to move from its Wired TV-delivered services to its Streaming TV product over the Internet. As part of this move, AT&T scrapped its previous Streaming TV service called AT&T TV Now. Given all of these changes, today, you can subscribe to AT&T TV with Everywhere Wireless or Comcast Internet, completing bifurcating the Internet and TV decision.
Most people are familiar with Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and Disney+ but according to MyBundle.TV, there are more than 170 Streaming TV options for today’s consumer, which covers significantly more overall content and options than those found on Wired TV. According to the CEO of MyBundle.TV, Jason Cohen, “So many consumers still default to Comcast/Xfinity TV, Spectrum or DirecTV, because they don’t realize they can get the content they love through streaming. But now it’s all on the Internet – and since the new bundles have fewer channels you can save real money making the switch. The tough part is figuring out how to find the service that has what you need and that’s where MyBundle.TV comes into play. You pick the channels that you want, the live sports you want to watch, the news that you rely on and MyBundle.TV provides streaming recommendations that are personalized for you to pair with high quality Internet. And it’s not just about Live TV – our tools help consumers find where to watch their favorite shows, discover their next binge and even get recommendations from friends,” Cohen continued.
All of these developments come as no surprise, as experts had been predicting the decline of Wired TV ever since streaming services began. The format of delivering television content via a wire was an incredibly profitable industry, giving service providers two revenue streams: the subscriptions of its viewers for Internet, TV, phone and more, and the advertising revenue it could generate. However, as viewers began turning away, not only did these companies start losing subscriber fees, but their advertising revenue also began to dry up. Apartment and condo property managers have seen a shift as well, as they request bids from telecom providers. “10 years ago, we were recommending bulk TV contracts to our buildings and suggesting they allow the residents to subscribe individually for Internet. Today, I’d [almost] never suggest a bulk TV deal and in almost all cases, we recommend bulk Internet,” says Jim Stoller, president and founder of The Building Group, a condo management company in Chicago.
All of this evolution has placed significant pressure on Wired TV companies, and recent reports have shown that these companies are now struggling to find buyers at optimal pricing. Most recently, AT&T found a partial buyer in TPG Capital, which implied an enterprise value of $16.25 billion, a far cry from the $48.5 billion that AT&T paid for DirecTV in 2015. AT&T will own the remaining 70% of the new entity, as reported.
Of course, the explosive popularity of Streaming TV is not entirely attributable to advancements in technology. While technology has undoubtedly played a major role behind the cord-cutting trend, other factors have contributed as well, including cost-saving and a significant cultural shift.
We now live in a world of instant gratification, which means that consumers increasingly demand near-instant results from everything they do. This means the idea of watching TV programs delivered via a wire and presented in a chronological, TV-guide way, is no longer viable. Viewers do not want to wait a week for the next episode, sit through commercial breaks or surf through bloated channel lineups to find something they like; they insist on having ‘on-demand’ content that is available to stream around the clock, regardless of the day, time or their geographic location.
Binge-watching, as the term has become known, has allowed viewers to consume entire television series in one sitting. This ability to pick and choose shows and episodes negates the need to have hundreds of channels, making Wired TV almost irrelevant. This is something AT&T has recently found as its profits continue to plunge, losing nearly 3 million customers in 2020 to DirecTV alone, even as ‘stay at home’ orders forced millions across the country to hunker down during the coronavirus pandemic.
The growth in popularity and profits from Streaming TV has driven providers to delve further into content creation and to explore genres that were once considered too niche or risqué. As a result, some of the most-watched shows in recent years, such as Schitt’s Creek, Stranger Things, 13 Reasons Why, and Making a Murderer, have given rise to the ‘water cooler moment.’
And it is not just the TV-watching habits of the consumer that are changing. As technology advances, all forms of Wired TV are in decline. Advances in Wi-Fi technology and the proliferation of smartphones have made Wired TV nearly obsolete. This means that phone lines, coaxial cables and other outdated technology that was once used to operate systems such as intercoms, elevators, or security are no longer needed. Nowadays, properties simply need a high-speed Internet connection. Andy Ahitow of City Pads states, “Two years ago, I was ensuring my developments had coaxial cable to each unit and ensuring there was a physical television provider available for residents. Now, all we need is Gigabit Internet, as everything is over the Internet today.”
As the global coronavirus pandemic took hold and forced people across the globe to socially distance and stay at home, it has accelerated the migration toward Streaming TV. Netflix saw a record growth of 37 million new subscribers in 2020, increasing profits by a whopping $100 billion.
Two years ago, 9 out of 10 property managers thought they needed traditional cable TV services for their building; today, that number has dropped to maybe, 2″ says Keegan J. Bonebrake, EVP at Everywhere Wireless.
Accept it. TV is Dead.
Everywhere Wireless, the premier provider of Gigabit Internet services in Chicago, has noticed this growing shift towards digital streaming providers. While homeowners were once focused on the Wired TV providers of yesterday, this demand has shifted drastically to streaming services, and a high-speed and reliable Internet connection has become indispensable for consumers looking to enjoy the latest streaming service offerings. As technology continues to improve and streaming services offer more innovative and unique content, the decline of conventional cable TV and our necessity for high-speed Internet is only going to accelerate.
Since its launch in 2012, Everywhere Wireless has grown to become the leading provider of Gigabit Internet to multi-family buildings and businesses across Chicagoland. The Internet-only company offers access to revolutionary, lightning-fast Internet speeds alongside unparalleled reliability, ensuring uninterrupted viewing of streaming services. As the largest independent Internet service provider of Gigabit speeds, the company works with leading brands, including Nike, Google, Amazon, and the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as the leading commercial and residential property developers and managers throughout Chicagoland.
The company has been named Chicago’s Best Overall Internet Service Provider for three consecutive years and guarantees a 99.99% uptime to its customers. Using innovative fixed wireless and microwave technology, the company is able to deliver residential Internet speeds of up to 2,000 Mbps (2 Gigabits) and business speeds up to 10,000 Mbps (10 Gigabits). For more information and to get connected to Everywhere Wireless, you can search your address here.
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