As we enter into the last quarter of 2019, it is incredible to see how fast viewers are adopting streaming into their viewing habits. Looking ahead to 2020, we don’t expect this trend to slow down anytime soon.
At ZypMedia, our daily work conversations involve at least one discussion about the shows we’re currently watching. After digging into OTT research all day, it’s interesting to learn about each other’s journeys from pay TV to OTT streaming, and how we are connecting with our favorite content.
For our first post in our new Streamer Spotlight series, we’re covering the cord-cutting experiences of some of ZypMedia’s Marketing team members, and diving into the real-life details of why we made the choice to switch to OTT. Keep reading to learn more!
When did you cut or shave the cord?
I started supplementing my cable service with streaming in 2007. I cut the cord completely in early 2014.
I cut the cord entirely once I moved out on my own in April of this year.
I was a cord-shaver for a while, and I used cable TV until 2017 for accessing sports content as I was living with huge sports fans. In the past, sports was sometimes harder to stream, but accessing sports content via streaming has become easier and user-friendly since the beginning of 2018, making the choice to cut the cord easy for me.
I have never paid for a cable subscription. I used to watch traditional TV when I was living with my parents, and they paid for a cable subscription until 2009. Since then, I have been watching all my favorite shows and news digitally, either online or via OTT apps and services.
Before you cut or shaved the cord, how did you access TV compared to how you access TV today?
I grew up with cable television as the primary source of television entertainment while living in my parent's house. I started my own cable subscription with my roommates shortly after I moved out on my own for college. In addition to my cable service, I was an early adopter of the Netflix DVD rental service, and when it began to offer streaming access to select content in 2007, I jumped on the opportunity to try out this new way to access the TV content I was craving.
The content library available to stream at that time was limited. We relied on our cable service as our primary source of popular shows and movies. As more and more content became available via streaming, first on SVOD services like Netflix, and eventually on AVOD services, like PlutoTV, when they became available, my roommates and I found ourselves spending more and more time with streamed content. It was just so easy and convenient. Today, my family relies on an Apple TV to connect our big screen with 100% of the content we watch, over a variety of apps and services that can be customized to align with my seasonal interests and my evergreen likes.
I grew up watching traditional cable TV. However, I would cherish my trips to Blockbuster, where I could choose what I wanted to watch. The same goes for early Netflix rentals. Much more effort went into watching my weekly TV shows. I had to be home at 9 PM to make sure I do not miss an episode and be caught up with all my friends to prevent spoilers.
Once DVR came into the picture, my family and I were able to leisurely go through our day knowing we could watch our shows whenever we were ready. It was also more acceptable to be couch potatoes! I now rely on AppleTV and SlingTV to get me the content that I want.
I used to access TV via cable or satellite TV subscriptions when I was living with my parents until 2009. After my family cut the cord, we started using AppleTV for streaming content.
Currently, I use AppleTV and Google Chromecast as my connected TV (CTV) devices to access SVOD (Netflix and HBO Now) and AVOD (Pluto TV) content on the big screen and my smartphone for streaming content while commuting.
Why did you decide to cut or shave the cord?
My roommate and I realized that we were streaming more than half the content we watched. We decided to experiment with pausing our cable subscription to see if it disrupted how we watched TV. If we missed it, we could always re-subscribe. Not having cable any more inspired me to do some research on the streaming availability of some of the shows we missed on cable.
Although picking and navigating content was a different experience than cable, it was not more difficult. To my surprise, even in 2014, I was able to find alternative streaming sources for most of the shows and movies we were missing by cutting our cable service, and access has only become easier every year.
Cutting the cord initially appealed to me because it allowed me to pay for access to exactly the content I wanted, even if I wanted to access it on multiple devices or locations. I also realized that the majority of my favorite shows from pay-TV were now offered on streaming sites, which made the transition easier.
The primary reason for me to switch to watching content over-the-top was to have the ability to watch my favorite movies and shows at any time and anywhere. I love to consume content when I am commuting or traveling. Also, there are many TV series that I prefer to watch that are available only on specific OTT platforms and cannot be accessed anywhere else.
How has cutting or shaving the cord changed your current viewing experience?
Although my initial reason for cutting the cord was partly financial, the reason it has remained cut has to do with user experience. My days are packed, and although I enjoy watching TV, I only have certain times available to do so, and those time slots vary from day-to-day. I love being able to count on jumping back in right where I left off on a season-long binge.
I have more freedom to watch a wider variety of content online than I had with cable TV. I can watch a movie from start to finish at my convenience as opposed to tuning in midway through the film and missing half the storyline.
I enjoy watching content at my own convenience and time.
When I used to watch traditional TV, most of the ads made no sense to me as they were usually aimed towards my parents. I love the ads that are shown to me while streaming content as they are precisely targeted towards my needs and interests.
As much as we love sharing our stories and insights on OTT, we would love to hear about your cord-cutting story and how it has changed your current TV viewing experience. Drop us a note and your story could be featured in our Streamer Spotlight series.
For local advertisers looking to access cutting-edge marketing technology, ZypMedia delivers the full package. We can help you and your organization place OTT ads in front of quality local audiences while helping you drive sales and generate a positive ROI.
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