The Cord-Cutting Revolution


Jack Morris

CORD-CUTTING: The time of cable, movie rentals and even the movie theater is over. Video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and HBO provide similar video entertainment for significantly less payment.

Gavin Herman, Staff Writer

When talking to most people, a normal conversation topic that arises quite often is one’s favorite movies or TV shows. Senior Joshua Lee describes video entertainment as “a great way to connect with others over something you share a similar interest in, especially if you don’t have much else in common or you both really love the same show.” The rise of this movie and show culture can likely be attributed in great part to the work of video streaming services. These services stream movies and shows to people, but have only exploded in popularity in the past decade. The idea is to relinquish cable and even the need to go to the movie theater in order to fulfill video entertainment desires.

Some of the most notable sources leading the cord-cutting revolution include sites such as Netflix, HBO, Hulu and Amazon Prime. These services have their own original movies and shows which can become incredibly popular. Netflix has the popular original “Stranger Things.” Rivalling competitors also have big hits; HBO has the mega-hit “Game of Thrones” and Amazon Prime has “The Man in the High Castle.” Originals that are only on one platform can be incredibly persuasive when people are considering a subscription. Junior Anna Olsen currently has Netflix but would like to try HBO just because she would “like to try watching Game of Thrones eventually.”

Other than show series these platforms also feature non-original series and even popular movies after some time of the original release. For example, Netflix has one of the most popular shows ever made named, “The Office,” along with other huge shows such as “Black Mirror” and “Friends.” Netflix and competitors also have blockbuster movies such as “Avengers: Infinity War,” along with other massive Marvel and DC releases. The abundance of choices for a viewer is seemingly endless, which is what has made these video streaming platforms such a huge success in opposition with regular television.

viewing power, but at what cost? Netflix, being the most popular, just had a subscription price increase from $10.99 to $12.99 a month as of May billing. Freshman Gabrielle Gaylor loves the Netflix series “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” and she says, “The cost for a Netflix membership is definitely worth it for the shows you get in return.” Amazon Prime is roughly $8.99 per month but varies for students and other groups. Hulu costs a mere $5.99 a month, which could be attributed to its limited movie and show selection. HBO, which seems to be popular simply because of its original “Game of Thrones,” costs a whopping $14.99 each month. These may seem expensive at face value, but when comparing it to cable it appears far more cost-beneficial. Most cable services begin at around $20 a month and go all the way up to $100 for premium viewing.

Other people just decide to use YouTube, which is free and provides content from individual creators. YouTube also has a paid service if you wish to watch shows similar to common video streaming services. Junior Alex Amedson says, “I do not have any paid subscriptions because I am fine just watching YouTube for free. Everything to keep myself entertained can be found there.” YouTube use advertisements to make money for them and their creators as opposed to the monthly subscriptions. Obviously paying for a service is not a necessity and quality of content can be debated between different platforms.

The top services seem to be the perfect mix between television and the movie theater, as the experience remains in the comfort of your own home while adding movies and show series into the mix. Sophomore Gracie Parker makes a good point saying, “There is little need for cable now when you can pull up Netflix and can be watching your favorite show within a minute without any ads.” They also seem to be built in a way similar to the top social media applications, where the most popular shows will be shown large in the front and center with other shows catering to your interests based off of prior watching habits. In fact some would probably consider them to be addicting like social media, taking time away from pursuing real life goals.

The addictive nature of video streaming services compared to cable or going all the way to the theater make it difficult to be torn away from your screen while relaxing in your home. However, most do not see it as a problem, but rather a way to pass time in an entertaining manner.