It is no secret that television is the most widespread source of entertainment in the world. As per Statista – a statistics website established in Germany more than fifteen years ago, there are more than four billion television watchers globally. If you compare that figure to the total number of residents of Planet Earth and do the appropriate math, you will quickly be able to decipher that it is more likely for anyone to be a television watcher than to not be a television user. Another way of measuring the popularity of television is by seeing the number of deals that service providers are offering to properly cater to such a wide audience. You can quickly see Xfinity TV packages and plans of other providers online.
However, no matter how great something is, its growth does come to a standstill due to advances in other areas. One such kind of advance was the broadcasting of videos on the internet. Today, Statista says that more than three and a half billion people are using the internet to watch videos around the world. Leading this change is the online video sharing platform by the name of YouTube. Perhaps, if there is one platform that can beat the television in the video transmission market, it is YouTube.
As the title suggests, the preceding point is what we are going to be focusing on today. We will be discussing if YouTube can indeed replace cable television not only by exploring the pros and cons of the two competitors but also by understanding what is needed for one phenomenon to replace another fully.
Acquisition By Google
Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim founded the online video sharing platform in 2005. It rose in popularity so quickly that the very next year, 2006, it was acquired by the tech giant Google. Being backed by a business worth hundreds of billions of dollars accelerated its growth even further. The world’s most in-demand minds started to work to make the platform better. For example, in 2010, the business made its user interface simple so that people spend more time on it. Alongside, a lot of resources were utilized to market the platform. More important than anything else was Google’s brand name. People who valued Google as a platform became much more likely to appreciate YouTube as well.
Around two billion users around the world log in to YouTube every month. That is approximately one-fourth of the world’s population! More importantly, the average user spends multiple hours on the platform. In short, the company has garnered huge successes over the years. No matter how big Google was, the truth is that YouTube could never have been this famous without it being a quality site in and of itself. Just look at what it gave to the world. You can listen to and watch the music video of any mainstream song on the platform. Music videos are not the only types of videos you can stream; YouTube also shows many other kinds of videos, including:
- Educational ones that give users knowledge of a certain subject. This is where YouTube was able to help a lot of students whose schools had been shut down due to coronavirus.
- Unboxing ones that help users understand whether a purchase is right for them or not.
- Challenge videos play a huge part in helping users bond with one another over long distances. These kinds of videos are also often used for noble causes.
- Comedy videos that help users get a laugh from a skit or an animation.
- How-to videos, as the name suggests, help people use a certain product. These videos are very resourceful both for the makers who get money and from the users who get to learn a skill.
- Vlogs are video blogs. This kind of authentic video format has been very well received amongst audiences.
- Gaming videos are very well-liked amongst gamers. It allows them to be entertained and also improve their game.
Apart from all that it offers, YouTube’s greatest strength is, perhaps, that it offers all of this for free!
From the preceding paragraph, we can see why it makes sense for many to quit paying for television when they do not have money to spare. However, one may argue that for those who do have money to spare, it makes sense to continue paying for cable because television gives you access to many more broadcasts of the latest news and television shows compared to YouTube. Well, YouTube already came up with an answer to this in 2017 by establishing its subscription streaming service – YouTube TV. For $65 a month, you will be able to watch more than 85 television channels. Alongside, you will be able to stream your favorite shows and movies at the time most convenient to you by asking cloud-based DVR to record them. Thus, even in terms of traditional television, YouTube offers more than cable TV providers.
From all of the above, we can say that YouTube has a high likelihood of replacing cable television but not completely.