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Smart TV's And Streaming Devices Are Overpowering Cable Boxes, According To New Study

Things are changing greatly in the world of television. While cable used to be the only way to watch your favorite small screen adventures, streaming services are changing the landscape of the industry. With Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu creating original content that is exclusive to their subscribers, TV viewers are needing certain devices in order to watch those series on their television. Now it appears that the need for streaming devices and smart TV’s are taking over the cable industry as a whole.

A new study by the Leichtman Research Group claims that 65% of US households have a television that connects to streaming services. Whether this be an outside device like Apple TV and Roku, or a smart TV that already has applications like Netflix connected, it’s the majority of American households. Additionally, many households with connected devices also have multiple TV’s that are capable of streaming services.

This number has gone up drastically over the past few years. 2013 saw only 44% of all US households with streaming abilities for their television. Even more dramatic, 2010 has a mere 24% of the population with streaming capabilities on their television.

So what made this change occur?

Obviously the rise of streaming services’ original programming is contributing greatly to this new development. Netflix is producing original content at an insanely fast rate, and ranging across all genres. Political drama House of Cards served as the test dummy for this model, releasing a full season at once and containing an all-star cast. After dramedy Orange is the New Black was met with similar success, Netflix began pumping out original content like a well-oiled machine. Stand up specials, movies, and myriad series have been released since. In fact, Netflix will soon step into the talk show world, with Chelsea Handler’s upcoming show Chelsea.

Of course, Netflix isn’t the only player in the world of streaming content. Both Hulu and Amazon have been producing original content to great success, only adding to the need for streaming services on TV.

Additionally, binge-watching has becoming a lifestyle over the last few years. TV fans are now confident that, if they don’t have time to watch a series when it’s airing live, they will be able to power through every episode in a month or so. Plus, when streaming services release their full seasons at once, it encourages binge-watching by the rabid fans who don’t want a single frame to be spoiled by the internet.

Because so much binge-watching is happening, audiences don’t want to have to sit on their computer while they binge. Who wants to be attached to their small screen while devouring all five seasons of Breaking Bad? If you’re going to be hunkering down for a marathon of this nature, you’re going to want to be comfortably on the couch and have the action occur on a big screen.

Now the question is: will cord cutting become a more accepted trend? If audiences are only watching their programs through streaming services, will cable networks and providers be in trouble moving forward?

It remains to be seen. But trust that Cinema Blend will be there through all of it, and reporting any developments as they become public.

Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.