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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Is Netflix the new cable TV?

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As of July 2015, Netflix reported its subscriber count to be 42.3 million in the United States, which may lead to some thinking that cable TV is losing their viewers to the ever popular subscription service.

Netflix originally started as a company with online movie rentals by means of a monthly subscription in 1997. By providing this service to its consumers, Netflix eventually caused the closing of the doors to an original movie rental store, Blockbuster.

Over the past decade, Netflix has been growing by continually adding features such as applications for smart phones, tablets and gaming systems. Part of its success is contributed to the fact that it’s easily accessible to watch.

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The variety of TV shows and movies found on Netflix's browse page. Photo credit: Sarah Espiritu

The variety of features Netflix offers is endless. To gain more viewers, Netflix, in 2007, started adding current and past cable shows to the list of options they provide. Most are of seasons not currently on the air, but previous seasons of current shows usually go live before the next season starts.

The list of shows available range from older hit shows such as Friends, Gillmore Girls and Dawson’s Creek to current primetime shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Blacklist.

To top it all off, within the last few years Netflix has released several hit shows of their own like Orange Is the New Black, Marvel’s Daredevil, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and House of Cards.

A Netflix original series. Photo credit:

The reasons the average consumer will or has already chosen to be a part of the Netflix way of life is for the convenience, the mass amounts of choices of movies and shows to choose from, low monthly cost with a monthly subscription and being able to watch programs commercial free.

However, the question still remains: Will Netflix overcome cable TV?

Cable is a strong contributor to Netflix. The cable shows that have been released to Netflix is what has expanded their popularity. The demand for all of the programs have been created by the people who have already seen a show because it has been popularized via cable.

Without cable, new television shows would have a more difficult time staying relevant.

Cable has a set time to release a show every week. Once the show has been viewed, a large social media buzz tends to follow. If a show has a dramatic ending it can be trending which could potentially add more viewers.

When Netflix releases a show it doesn’t create a big stir like cable does–since everyone can watch a show at their own rate. Therefore, the excitement put out for a cable show is different from a Netflix show.

There are some factors that need to be considered when deciding to choose between keeping cable or sticking only with Netflix. One being the cost savings and another is the availability of other sources of viewing possibilities. For example, a sports fan can get live feeds of games instead of watching it on cable TV.

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Netflix is one of cable TV’s toughest competitors, but will it entirely take over cable TV one day?

Possibly, but in order for Netflix to beat out cable TV, it would need to become similar to it. They would have to start using commercials within their programming and may even have to increase subscription rates.

Both Netflix and cable TV can give and take from each other. If they can both find success as a result of each other’s existence, then maybe they can also co-exist because of each other’s successes.

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