Streaming video services are booming. Netflix, Amazon Prime video, and Hulu are just a few of the most popular services to choose from.
Let's face it, with the number of streaming services out there, it's difficult to justify the hefty monthly bills from cable and satellite providers. That's why many people are cutting the cable TV cord and moving away from traditional television viewing.
The use of streaming video services is so popular that the number of people with more than one subscription is on the rise. A study by market research firm GFK shows that nearly 16 percent of the viewing population in the U.S. have multiple video-on-demand (VOD) subscriptions. That number was only 10 percent just three years ago.
GFK surveyed 1,054 people for the study and found nearly half of them subscribe to at least one VOD service. GFK describes consumers who subscribe to multiple VOD services as "self-bundlers." These self-bundlers have higher mean incomes than average weekly viewers but are less likely to pay for traditional TV services like cable or satellite.
Most Popular Streaming Video Services
Here are three of the most popular streaming video services in the U.S.:
- Netflix - Many people consider Netflix to be the granddaddy of all streaming services. It began primarily as a DVD subscription service in the late 1990s but pivoted a few years later into a streaming service, taking advantage of growing mobile technology and faster internet speeds. Netflix now provides unlimited streaming of movies, TV shows, comedy specials and it even has popular original programming like "House of Cards" and "Orange Is the New Black." Subscribers have three options - basic, which is $7.99 per month, standard at $9.99 per month, and premium, which costs $11.99 per month. The premium subscription supports Ultra HD.
- Amazon Prime Video - If you have an Amazon Prime membership, it comes with Prime Video. You get instant access to video streaming that includes thousands of movies and TV shows at no additional cost. Prime Video isn't just a stockpile of old shows. There are many top-notch shows, including Amazon originals you can't watch anywhere else. Those include the multiple Emmy-nominated "Transparent," and the romantic comedy "Catastrophe." If you are not a Prime member, you can sign up for Prime Video for $8.99 per month.
- Hulu - Hulu provides access to most major network shows, excluding CBS, and some cable TV shows available the day after they air. Hulu Plus also carries BBC content. There is original programming available like "The Path" and "Casual." Subscribers have two plans to choose from. The first plan costs $7.99 per month and there are limited commercials when you watch a show. The second plan is $11.99 per month and there are no commercials.
If you decide to join the trend and become a cable cutter yourself, you need to add an HD antenna to your system. An HD antenna will allow you to pick up local channels, and several others, that will let you watch live TV for free. Click here to find out why TV antennas are making a comeback.