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Cutting The Cord: Why Millennials Are Shifting To Streaming

As Millennials, we're no strangers to the Internet.

The Internet is the center of our lives, the essence of our being and the fundamentals of all of our research papers ever written.

We don't know how to function without it. We're the “Net Generation,” the ones who were born into the very introduction of the computer and, therefore, cannot picture life without it.

Thousands of studies have shown we, Millennials, hate anything slow or inconvenient.

According to “Educating the Net Generation” by Diana G. Oblinger and James L. Oblinger, Millennials need immediacy. We thrive when things are virtually accessible and easily navigated.

When our parents were growing up, TV was just emerging onto the market.

It meant black-and-white pictures and families surrounding the “tube,” in the living room to watch “Johnny Carson” or “I Love Lucy.”

Today, TVs are becoming almost obsolete. More and more, people are beginning to “cut the cord” and end their long-term relationship with cable.

The replacement? Streaming services.

A recent Huffington Post article stated that at the end of last year, 150,000 people cut the cord with cable and switched over to streaming services.

Verizon reported that in a survey conducted, 49 percent of Millennials have gone “cord free,” and watch their TV content from a paid service, like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV or HBO Go.

It's hard for any college student today to picture his or her life without Netflix or Hulu. Think of all the endless binging on a night before a big final because you just have to finish “Orange is the New Black.”

But, all Netflix memes aside, why is it Millennials love streaming services and the content they offer?

For starters, they aren't regulated by the a corporate network, like NBC or CBS, and they are a paid service; therefore, the content they wish to feature doesn't have to be regulated and filtered.

That means when you're watching a movie, they won't skip the nudity; the profanity won't be edited out, and you'll be able to watch everything raw and real.

Much like HBO or Showtime, streaming services are open to the content of their choosing — even bad-acting pornography (talking to you, Cinemax).

Subscribers can watch whatever they want, whenever they want. The beauty of Netflix is its original content series come out all at once.

In other words, audiences gain access to a whole series in one day. The beauty of Hulu is it streams episodes that aired on the cable networks it has teamed with the very next day.

It's becoming increasingly inconvenient for Millennials to wait around to watch a show air every week.

We are always moving, always working or always traveling. Being able to watch things on our portable devices just makes life easier for us.

With streaming services, you're paying for content and losing those annoying commercials. When you're watching cable, you're paying an expensive bill for a substantially high amount of advertising content.

An hour-long episode is realistically only 40 to 45 minutes of actual content and 15 to 20 minutes of paid advertisements targeting you.

As well, cable networks have increasingly been showing the same content, over and over again. Whenever I turn on my TV, I'm caught between “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” reruns on E! or a mashup of poorly executed reality television shows. (Is “The Bachelor” still a thing?)

In the Verizon survey, 59 percent of Millennials watch their content either online, on-demand or from a video on-demand service.

Millennials want what they want, when they want it. Label it instant gratification.

We're so used to obtaining things at fast and easy speeds, and we don't want to be bothered with the distractions of sponsorship and ads that could possibly waste our time and lose our fragile attention.

It's also way less expensive. When you have a phone or a tablet that has 3G or 4G service, streaming shows is as easy as paying your phone bill.

Even if you were to just buy Internet for your house, it's a less expensive bill every month when you cut out the price of cable.

What the industry needs to realize is with the abundance of options out there, there are hundreds of ways to gain access to content. Millennials are fast, knowledgable and always looking for the easiest way out.

We were raised on Google and smartphones, being able to access information at our very fingertips.

Why would we want our entertainment content to be any different?

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Alexa Tanney

Contributor

Alexa Tanney is a gypsy soul from New York City with absolutely no filter. She is a media/journalism graduate, hopes to marry Jon Stewart and enjoys long, romantic walks to the fridge. You can get inside her head at AlexaTanney.com
Alexa Tanney is a gypsy soul from New York City with absolutely no filter. She is a media/journalism graduate, hopes to marry Jon Stewart and enjoys long, romantic walks to the fridge. You can get inside her head at AlexaTanney.com

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