Technology is impacting every area of life, from how we connect with others to how we spend our free time. With so much literally at our fingertips, the average American’s life today looks much different than it did just a decade ago. (This truth was illustrated recently while I was on a flight and had the pleasure of sitting behind two preschoolers wrestling over an iPad, much to their father’s distress.) This seismic shift is particularly apparent among the Millennials, those born from the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s, who were raised during the rapid advancement of digital technology. They aren’t much for doing things just because it’s “how we always do it”; if there is a better way, a more efficient, easier way, they will quickly adapt.
This is specifically true when it comes to cable television. Many of us remember when cable was the new kid on the block, challenging the broadcast networks. At first, in the late 1940’s, cable was simply a way for remote, rural areas to watch broadcast channels. A few decades later, cable became available in metropolitan areas, opening the door to vigorous investment, rapid expansion of service, and the origination of cable networks. By 1990, over half of American households with a television had cable service, which boasted 79 networks. By 2006, there were 65 million cable subscribers; by 2012, there were 800 networks. [i]
Growth was unparalleled and seemed unstoppable.
But, wait. In the mid to late 1990’s, a tech company known as Real Technology began streaming content over the Internet, both audio and video. Their first effort was audio streaming a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and the Yankees in 1995. Video streaming followed in 1997. [ii] (Does anyone else remember the now defunct Real Player?)
Fast forward to 2015, when approximately 2 in 5 households in America subscribe to a video streaming service.[iii] And unlike conventional TV watchers, these subscription services are causing Millennials to cut the cord from traditional cable. Why pay for so many channels in a cable bundle when you only watch a few shows regularly? And, with streaming, why pay for cable TV when you can watch your favorite shows at any time, on any device?
As cable usage fades and streaming video grows, streaming entertainment will explode globally. According to Digital Trends, a study by Juniper Research uncovered these startling statistics: In 2014, there were 92.1 million streaming video subscribers. By 2019, a mere five years later, the estimate jumps to 332.2 MILLION.
That is a third of a billion people watching streaming video platforms globally.[iv]
The Pure Flix Digital streaming video service is poised to expand exponentially as new subscribers look for content that aligns with their values and beliefs. Not only will it continue to serve Christian families, it will also attract families around the globe that are looking for wholesome, family entertainment. With over 3500 titles and growing, Pure Flix is willing and prepared to enter this exciting new season of new opportunities to share the message of the Gospel around the world.