In a recent study by the Pew Research Center, it was discovered that 61% of consumers between 18–29 years watch television shows primarily through streaming services on the internet.
The shift from traditional viewing experiences like television, DVDs, cinema or cable to online streaming has changed the way movies are being made and marketed, and enhanced competition in the movie distribution industry.
Most online streaming companies have widened their business to include the production of series and feature films. This has affected not just the distribution, but also the production industry, leading to the rise of independent movies as the viewer’s choice for online streaming platforms. This has also promoted creativity among movie producers in addition to aligning movie production to consumer preferences.
There are two types of video streaming services and these are Video on Demand (VOD) services where the consumer accesses video content any time and Programmed Video Streaming where the viewers can access videos according to a given schedule.
The factors below have greatly contributed to the increasing popularity of online streaming services.
Streaming services have become convenient and accessible. Most smartphones and tablets can access these services, not including computers and Smart TVs. With the increasing number of individuals using smartphones, this simply means that a viewer can enjoy their favorite shows on the go, or can easily continue watching from where they left off, or catch up on old episodes.
Consumers are also looking for content that is not readily accessible elsewhere or is not readily available at the time the viewer wants to watch it.
As compared to cinema and cable, online streaming services are relatively cheap. For an average of $10, a consumer can subscribe to a streaming service for a month, while it would cost five times that much for a cable subscription. In comparison to the cinema, one trip to watch a single movie can cost more than a month’s online streaming subscription.
The challenge of cost, however, is when consumers are tempted to the subscriber to multiple Over The Top (OTT) services, which will push their expenditure up.
Another factor pushing the growth of the online streaming industry is flexibility. When compared to cable companies they are flexible in both access and usage and will not lock you into strict annual contracts. Signing up for the services or cancellation can be done at any time without risk of being penalized or being charged termination fees.
Online video streaming gives the consumer a choice to personally decide what they want to watch and when. This is because there is no limit to the number of online libraries that can be created by these companies, and so, there is always something for everyone.
The beauty of VOD services is that commercials that used to be inserted during viewing time on cable and TV services are not aired and thus the consumer can enjoy their preferred movie uninterrupted.
These companies also try to provide authentic and creative content that is not influenced by external players like advertisers or studio heads.