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Cord-cutting: Where Did It Go Wrong?

Remember when cord-cutting first became a thing? It was a movement that seemed almost revolutionary. People were ditching their cable subscriptions in droves, opting instead for streaming services. And why wouldn’t they? Streaming offered a more affordable and flexible way to watch their favorite shows and movies. This was the promise of the early days of cord-cutting, but where are we now?

Cord-cutting: The Early Days

In the beginning, the allure was undeniable. Cable bills were skyrocketing, and the idea of paying for only what you wanted was a breath of fresh air. Enter the streaming services—Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video led the charge. They offered vast libraries of content at a fraction of the cost of a traditional cable package. This period, often thought of as the “Golden Age” of cord-cutting, was all about getting more for less. Financially, it made sense, and consumers were quick to jump on the bandwagon.

Where We Are Now

Fast forward to today, and the landscape has dramatically changed. The market is now saturated with a plethora of streaming services, each requiring its own subscription fee. From Disney+ to HBO Max and beyond, the choices are endless. Each service is trying to carve out its niche by securing exclusive rights to popular shows and movies. This means that viewers have to subscribe to multiple platforms to access all the content they desire.
Moreover, the rise of ad-supported subscriptions is adding another layer of complexity. In an effort to offer lower-priced options, many streaming services have introduced tiers that include ads. This does reduce the cost. At the same time, it chips away at the commercial-free viewing experience that made streaming appealing in the first place. And with the emergence of Tubi and similar services, these ad-supported tiers start making less sense.

A Good Example

There’s one area where the spirit of cord-cutting has thrived: online casinos. Perhaps because it did its thing without stepping on the toes of its traditional counterpart. Unlike streaming services, online casinos didn’t aim to replace traditional land-based casinos. Instead, they tried to complement them by offering a different kind of experience. They introduced convenience and innovation, allowing players to play roulette online from anywhere. All this without interfering with the charm and excitement of visiting a casino in person. Here, cord-cutting opened up new avenues without diminishing the value of the old.

What Went Wrong?

So, what went wrong with cord-cutting for TV and film? It’s not just about the multiplication of services and the return of ads. It’s also about the paradox of choice and the rising costs. What started as a cost-effective alternative to cable has begun, for some, to resemble the very thing it sought to overthrow. As more services enter the fray, and each nudges up its prices, the total cost can creep up to or even exceed that of a traditional cable bill.

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