Have you given up your cable TV yet for Netflix and Hulu or other similar services? With the increasing popularity of services like this and new players like Google seeking to enter the market, you may soon be able to give up cable, but not the service that it offers. The Wall Street Journal reported today that Google is seeking licensing deals with major media companies to be able to display TV, like we’re used to with cable on an Internet streaming service. While nothing is in the works yet, apparently Google already has software that it is demonstrating to media companies and they are taking a second swing at offering cable-like service. People who have seen the demonstration say that if a service is launched, you will likely be able to flip through the channels much like you do today.
Meanwhile, non-traditional news companies like The Huffington Post, which was bought by AOL in 2011, have introduced cable news-like video service along with their articles online. This is just one of many examples of how consumers are able to get an experience similar to what TV offers online. Many news outlets like Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal already upload segments of their news broadcasts to services like YouTube and others like London’s ITN don’t have TV distribution in the US, but have offered video online in order to attract viewers in the States.
Already, a slew of set top boxes that provide access to a variety of online video content have saturated the market. Apple TV has been around since 2007 and offers access to services like Netflix and Hulu and to content that you can pay for and download right to the device. Other set top boxes like Roku made their debut around 2008 and have been strong while others like Boxee were introduced and bought by competitors. At the same time, major provider Netflix has begun offering original content that is only available on its service including two hit shows, House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. These shows aim to compete with the likes of HBO, but are designed to attract new subscribers in hopes of keeping them around after they have watched all of the episodes.
The battle is still on to see who will prevail in Internet streaming television. There is no doubt that Google is already a major player with YouTube under it’s umbrella, but the major media companies have not yet given in to changing times. How do you watch TV? Have you given up cable? What do you think the future is for cable and Internet video streaming. We’d love your comments.