Cutting the cord on cable

The rise of online streaming services like Netflix has changed how consumers watch TV shows and movies

With the rise of Netflix and video streaming services, it seems as though the traditional system of cable television and once-a-week programming is on a steady decline. This can especially be seen in our age demographic, with Business Insider reporting that 30 per cent of people ages 18-24 are using Netflix in lieu of cable television, compared to a 17 per cent average across all ages.

Although not everyone is on the Netflix bandwagon, streaming is still becoming the go-to way for university students to consume media. Third-year psychology student Dom Amodeo said his general viewing method is YouTube.

“You get to watch what you want when you want, you don’t have to wait for a certain show to come on TV,” he said.

“The shows that we want to watch tend to be on things like Netflix as opposed to television,” Amodeo explained when asked about why this is more prominent amongst people our age.

Social media is even being used as a tool for viewing, said second-year psychology student Jessica Traill, who uses Youtube, Facebook and Twitter to view media.

“Netflix is good [and] cost-efficient. It doesn’t cost very much to get free movies and shows and there’s also other websites like ProjectFreeTV for any kind of movie or show you want to watch there as well and those are relatively easy to get [access to],” she said.

Another factor for her is she has “greater access to a laptop or a computer than I do a television set,” and that, “having Rogers television stream through my apartment would cost me more than just having the Internet service.”

Traill said that streaming media like movies online is also “more private and more comfortable” because “you don’t have to go to a theater.”

Despite the cultural influence and popularity of the service, the transition is not always as sudden as the statistic seems to make it. Second-year health sciences student Spencer Higgins uses both cable television and YouTube.

He noted, “things change from time to time,” and, “people use cable more frequently because we have it and we just tend to use it.”

Watching YouTube is a different experience for Higgins.

“I can watch it anytime and not restricted like when it’s being broadcast on TV, so that way if I want to watch it during nighttime, when I have free time I can watch it on YouTube more easily than on cable.” “Usually around that time they will broadcast some shows I don’t even like to watch,” he said.

With more people citing the easy access to movies online and the breadth of resources available to view such content like Netflix as reasons for watching less cable television, students seem to be embracing the new technologies with open arms.

“Online video websites tend to be more efficient and convenient to view rather than watching it on cable,” said Higgins.

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