NCTA — The Internet & Television Association

Behind the Numbers: How More Online Video Makes Cable Better

Behind the Numbers: How More Online Video Makes Cable Better

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TV has been a part of American life for generations, giving viewers an escape into the world of make-believe, a chance to laugh or cry, or front row seats to the ball game. For many years, the experience of TV was the whole family coming together around the living room television tuning in to their favorite show. That still happens today, to a degree. But now the idea of TV and entertainment is a radically different experience – and a profoundly better one to be a part of. In the past, traditional TV was the only game in town. But take a quick glance at the chart below and you will notice the wide spread of video subscribers among a diverse landscape of providers. It’s a healthy and competitive video marketplace that continues to evolve. Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 10.30.12 AM How is this better? A few ways.  First, several providers are developing new ways for customers to enjoy video content on their terms.  From cloud DVRs to huge video on demand libraries to TV Everywhere, video providers are enabling their customers to be in charge. The rise of online video services has also led to more demand for quality content.  The content being produced today is better than ever before – we’re smack in the middle of a golden age with lots of high-quality programming. With so much competition for audience eyeballs, the pressure is on to create spectacular shows. This competition also generates diversity in content. Not only is there a channel for everyone’s unique tastes on cable, but the other providers on this list also add to the wonderful grab bag of diverse content. We’ve talked before about how these different players complement each other and work together. And it’s important to highlight that although there’s more choice, consumers don’t feel forced to pick one option over another. They have the flexibility to combine traditional with online sources. As technology continues to improve and competition in the video distribution marketplace becomes ever fiercer, consumers always win. It’s a healthy environment that provides many options for enjoying high-quality, diverse, and widely accessible content. -- Behind the Numbers is a blog series sharing key cable industry data points, charts, and graphs from our Industry Data page and elsewhere and providing commentary and an insiders take on what the data means and why it’s important.