Until just a few years ago, “cutting the cord” was the phrase used to refer to what parents did in order to emancipate children who were reluctant to leave the safety of the nest. It was, and still is, a phrase that indicated a move from dependency to freedom.
While this definition of “cutting the cord” still applies, that’s not the meaning that is being bandied about in every major news outlet today.
Cord cutters are the increasing numbers of households who have decided to emancipate themselves from traditional cable television subscriptions. Laden with hundreds of channels, these subscriptions are accompanied by a heavy monthly price tag — a fee that includes channels that go unwatched, month after month.
When alternatives to those traditional TV subscriptions began popping up a few years back, consumers started sitting up on their couches and taking notice. Netflix, Hulu and HBO Go were among the first, but since those early streaming days, streaming services have been popping up like prairie dogs. YouTube TV, Sling TV, Amazon Prime, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vu are just a few of the services available. To move the metaphor from prairie dogs, these services are as fertile as rabbits.
How sweeping is cord cutting? According to a December 28, 2017 article in USA Today:
“Two trends power the ongoing TV transformation: the growing number of U.S. homes with high-speed broadband Internet service, and the slow decline in homes with traditional pay-TV service.
“About 82% of all U.S. homes get broadband now, up from 76% in 2012, according to the Leichtman Research Group. And broadband homes (94.5 million) now eclipse the number of homes with traditional pay TV (about 92.2 million), the research firm says.
“Meanwhile, pay-TV providers overall continue to lose subscribers. About 405,000 signed off in the third quarter alone. However, the growth in broadband-delivered live TV services such as Sling TV and DirecTV Now is helping offset those losses. More than 2.5 million now subscribe to them, Leichtman Research says.”
Recognizing that streaming TV is a trend that is swiftly becoming the new norm, Smithville has introduced Smithville Streaming TV. Available to its residential internet customers, this streaming option is a perfect complement to other streaming services, offering what they most often lack: access to local and network programming.
One of the strongest advantages of streaming TV is the ability to select a service that offers more of what the viewer actually wants to watch, cutting out the fat of unwanted channels and serving up a leaner, more desirable menu. One of the drawbacks, however, is the lack of network channels and local programming. For those individuals who have lived and died by the Big Three and their programming, this creates a major drawback. Think of those young adults who are loathe to cut the cord with their parents. To some older viewers, the thought of losing contact with major network programming is akin to how some young adults feel about doing their own laundry, making their own meals and remembering to wake up on their own. Daunting.
Smithville Streaming TV’s package includes major networks as well as local programming. Paired with another streaming service of the viewer’s choice, there is nary a hiccup in viewership. The biggest change? Monthly fees. Streaming services are significantly less expensive than traditional cable TV subscriptions. Even when choosing two or three streaming options, subscribers will save more and have access to (1) channels they want to watch, as well as (2) original programming that is not otherwise available.
Ready to get started? Before you do, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into. While streaming has its strengths, for those who have been long-time TV subscribers, there may be a paradigm-shift pain point or two. To help with that, we’ve created a Cord Cutters Guide. It will provide insight into the changes to expect, the technology you’ll need, and the benefits you’ll reap.
Once you’re ready to cut the cord, give us a call at (800) 742-4084. Our customer service representatives can answer your questions and talk you through the process. A lot of us are cord cutters, too, at all levels. While we can’t do your laundry or make you Mom’s mac ’n cheese, we can help you emancipate to the freedom streaming TV allows.