Could Netflix’s time atop the world of streaming services be coming to an end?

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

Who says this blog isn’t relevant?! Well, pretty much everyone in the entire world aside from the tens of … well … tens that read this thing. Still, that doesn’t mean I don’t love you all equally.

Anyways, proving the importance of the ability to watch television without a normal cable television package in our pop culture lexicon, though, was a recent graphic composed from a study the wonderful people at Mashwork recently offered (and more importantly, the fabulous Ms. Mlot forwarded to me via email for this very purpose). It’s a graphic, in all fairness and disclosure, that you can find here.

As it goes, 10,000 tweets between June 28, 2010, and July 6, 2011, were monitored. The results? Twenty-nine percent of the people polled had a Netflix account while 20 percent had a Hulu Plus account. Not much new there, one would think, right? I mean, come on. Netflix has been around way longer than Hulu, and the resources that little red envelope company can offer have a much bigger reach and an even bigger influence than anyone else in the game, let alone something named “Hulu.”

But, as the link above states, the most important finding from this study was the following: 51 percent of the tweets were from users looking to completely cut their cable television packages altogether, thus using the Internet as their sole source for television viewing. Need some more numbers? No problem, friends. I told you I loved you, now didn’t I?

– While Netflix users are basically split down the middle when it comes to gender, 76 percent of Hulu Plus members are male while only 26 percent are female.

– 3,188 of the Tweets resulted in the fact that a decision between the two services hasn’t yet been made with 48 percent of those people saying they haven’t even tried Hulu Plus yet.

And now for the finale:

– When Hulu Plus released its Android app, it caused a 4,180 percent spike in conversation, in which 91 percent of the people chatting were talking about disconnecting their cable television service completely.

Oh, but the plot only continues to increase in thickness.

Fast-forward to Tuesday afternoon and the following headline appeared on The Associated Press entertainment wire: “Netflix separates DVD plans from online streaming.” Take it away …

“Under rates introduced Tuesday, households that want both DVDs and Internet streaming will have to buy separate plans totaling at least $16 per month,” The AP wrote. “It’s effective immediately for new members and Sept. 1 for existing subscribers. … This marks the first time that Netflix hasn’t bundled online streaming with its DVD-rental plans since it began sending video over high-speed Internet connections in 2007.”

This is in contrast, of course, to the package the company currently offers (one of which I am a subscriber, by the way) which allows one to pay about 10 bucks a month and get all the streaming video one could want along with actual, physical DVDs mailed to one’s doorstep. No more, says the company that made the color red less menacing. It’s either one or the other, and if you want both, you are going to have to pay.

This all results in one, big, fancy, unfortunate, emotional sad face. Or, well, a sad face for those of us who will now have to pay more if we want the ability to take advantage of everything Netflix offers. But, as the most important development that has occurred in the world of Internet television since this particular blog has been in existence, the $64,000 question becomes the following:

What is Hulu Plus and how do I get my hands on it?

Well, in short, Hulu Plus offers “All current season episodes from even more popular shows (than the regular Hulu); over 1,000 seasons of current and classic shows, comprising more than 33,000 episodes, 16,000 of which are available on all supported devices; more than 70 Hulu Plus-only shows; hundreds of movies and documentaries; shows with limited advertising; and the option for high definition video quality.” This, of course, is all for a low monthly fee of $7.99 a month, and if you sign up now, you’ll even get an entire week for free.

So then, all things considered (especially now that Netflix has decided to up its price), which one is the better choice? As the people at Mashwork found, both answers to that question are growing closer and closer with each click of a mouse. And now that both Yahoo and Google are looking into buying Hulu — coupled with yesterday’s development that the cost of a Netflix subscription is increasing in cost — the way we view television on the Web just may be ripe for a few seismic changes in the very near future.

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