As more and more people look for cheaper alternatives to traditional cable TV — and the big monthly bill that often comes with it — big media providers are starting to offer more affordable solutions.
According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, 24% of Americans don’t subscribe to a cable or satellite service in their home.
Meanwhile, 84% of Americans do have ‘advanced Internet access’ at home — something providers are finally starting to take seriously.
A new, more flexible option for watching TV
Streaming service Hulu will soon offer a cable-like digital service that streams both broadcast and cable TV channels — combining services that currently aren’t all available in one place.
While Hulu has become an increasingly popular way for cord-cutters to watch their favorite broadcast TV shows the day after they’ve aired, this new service would be a more complete alternative to traditional pay-TV — allowing users to stream entire broadcast and cable channels for a monthly fee, according to a report by the L.A. Times.
With more and more consumers no longer willing to pay for channels they don’t want, this service from Hulu, which is a joint venture of 21st Century Fox, Walt Disney Co. and Comcast’s NBCUniversal, is an indicator that big providers are starting to shift from their traditional package models in order to keep up with online competitors.
And one way they’re doing it is with ‘skinny bundles,’ which give users the flexibility of choosing fewer channels — for less money, rather than paying a high price for a package that may include hundreds of channels the customer doesn’t want.
According the L.A. Times, ‘Hulu is in active negotiations with Disney, Fox and NBCUniversal for access to their broadcast and cable networks, which include ESPN, Disney Channel, Fox News, FX and others.’
“All the big network-owning companies realize that it’s impossible in an over-the-top world to stop the eventual creation of smaller, more flexible consumer video offerings,” Todd Juenger, an analyst with Bernstein, told the L.A. Times. “They all want to proactively be a part of these offerings.”
Acccording to the L.A. Times, Hulu plans to start offering the service early next year for around $40 a month.