TV Revolution: The Online Platform

Online streaming television means watching five hours of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” with a couple of friends on a lazy Sunday, or catching up on last week’s “Modern Family” after a long day at work. It also means we’re living in an age where we’re getting used to not paying for anything.

Americans want their entertainment when they can sit down and enjoy it. Fortunately, now they have a platter of options and side menus that are worth the cost.

Quality Programming On Your Terms

HBO changed the game when it started producing original content such as Oz, The Wire and The Sopranos. And they continue to keep up with the pace of American viewers by providing an online streaming service to HBO subscribers through a cable service.

It makes sense that online streaming services such as Netflix, HuluPlus and Amazon Prime would want to produce their own content exclusive to their service.

Netflix’ “House of Cards” was an exciting and refreshing way to experience new entertainment at a convenient time. With the help of social media, word quickly spread about Kevin Spacey’s new charismatic and conniving character as Congressman Frank Underwood. TV critics, writers and actors periodically updated their Twitter followers about what episode they had just absorbed.

By releasing all 13 episodes at once, Netflix showed its 27 million American subscribers that with the help of a large database of their preferences and television watching habits, it knows what viewers want and it is prepared to deliver.

The immediate-release strategy seems risky, though. There’s the chance that viewers sign up for one month just to get their fix and cancel their subscription since there’s no penalty or contract.

What are TV Critics saying?

Nielsen ratings for "Zero-TV" Households

More U.S. households are canceling their cable subscriptions and opting for the online streaming route to subtract costs or simply because of lack of interest. There are more than five million U.S. homes that have “zero-tv,” according to the Nielsen March 2013 report.

Yet, 75% of these homes still have television sets.

The biggest question today is how Nielsen will be able to track what "zero-TV" households are watching when they are streaming online. Nielsen cannot track Netflix users like a broadcasting network on cable.

Advertisers are going to have to come up with a different plan if they want to reach consumers that are avoiding commercial ads and an expensive cable bill.