Cord-Cutting: From an Exciting Alternative to a Burden

Cord-cutting was all the rage a few years ago, serving as a viable alternative to cable TV, and not just that – in a broader sense, it has grown to mean turning away from traditional media – print, glossy magazines, broadcast and satellite TV – toward digital television, press, and content in general. But what sounded like an innovative and cheap alternative to traditional media is increasingly becoming a burden for our pockets.

Streaming: From One to (Too) Many

Netflix was the first truly successful streaming TV service, paving the way for many others. At one point, it was almost like HBO was for cable – a subscription-based service filled with content from a variety of providers. Its low price and accessibility made it a huge hit among cord-cutters, leading to massive growth worldwide.

At first, Netflix didn’t have any true competitors. Later, though, each major media company wanted its slice of the ever-growing streaming market, so they started withdrawing their content from Netflix while launching their services. And this has led to strange situations across the board.

If you want to stream Stranger Things, Chernobyl, Star Trek, and Star Wars, you need to subscribe to four separate streaming services. Depending on your tastes, it could be more. Soon enough, all the subscriptions will add up to a fee that’s higher than that of traditional cable.

Press: the Advent of Paywalls

Traditional newspapers did have ads, but they also relied on subscriptions and sales for their revenue. Then the internet came with its fast news cycle and easier accessibility, and changed things for the better: you could get the news instantly on your computer (and later on your smartphone), and all you had to do was to watch (maybe click) a few ads in return. This has affected the quality of the press, of course, but it also had a major impact on the bottom line of publications.

At first, it was good – but later it wasn’t anymore. The revenues of publications – especially local news media – have crashed, forcing them to hide some of their content behind paywalls. And here we go again: we’re back to subscriptions, only this time we no longer get a stack of paper in return.

Casinos: Where Cord Cutting Actually Worked

There is one area where cord-cutting has actually worked: gambling. Although they may seem otherwise, online casinos are not an alternative to brick-and-mortar establishments. Instead, they offer a different service, catering to a different category of players.

Where land-based casinos offer an overarching experience complete with gambling, shows, high-profile dining and other attractions, online casinos offer a casual gaming experience that’s much more accessible. Moreover, they come with a far greater game variety than their land-based counterparts. There, you can play blackjack in an amazing variety, choose from thousands of slot machines, and explore many other games as well. Online casinos cater to the needs of those who want to play casually, without the effort or logistics – not to mention the cost – of visiting a casino resort.

Digital is the future of media. But now, it seems, we are in a transitional time when the market is still in turmoil – and this means that cord-cutting can easily become a burden for our wallet, more so than traditional media ever was. Let’s hope the market stabilizes soon, and we can go back to reading our digital papers and binge-watching series without worrying about the monthly fees.