Streaming networks offer more than cable


Avery Greenaway, Web Editor

Spending a lazy day streaming whatever your heart desires on Netflix feeds the teenage soul. The ability to choose what you want to watch instantaneously and also be able to start a series from the beginning attracts a wide audience, including students, to streaming networks.

Still, these features are both available on almost any standard cable TV plan. On Demand allows viewers to watch what they want, when they want.

It seems that it’s not the accessibility or freedom of streaming sites that makes Netflix a must-have. It’s their selection.

The biggest difference in selection from streaming networks and ordinary cable coverage is that streaming networks offer shows of the past. Teenagers are watching Friends (1994-2004), The Office (2005-2013), Gossip Girl (2007-2012), and That 70’s Show (1998-2006).

Why are old shows coming into fashion?

Because they’re simply better than new shows. The lack of quality shows generated for teenagers is staggering, leaving the demographic to resort to ancient TV history to find their entertainment.

Another factor that contributes to the success of streaming sites is their movie selection. To watch any respectable movie On Demand on a cable network like Comcast or Verizon, a teenager needs to bug their parent or guardian to let them add another five dollars to the cable bill for two measly hours of entertainment.

Although streaming networks limit the options for movie browsing, at least teenagers have an easier time accessing their films. That’s what gives companies like Netflix their major profits.

Streaming networks also attract many to movies of the past. Just as with TV shows, the teen genre in the box office is desolate. Every movie aimed at teens recently either fails to replicate the comedic genius that is Mean Girls (2004) or is too gory for some to enjoy.

Therefore, there’s been a resurgence of classics such as The Breakfast Club (1985), Ten Things I Hate About You (1999), Clueless (1995), and girl-power movies that went Mean Girls before there was Mean Girls, like Heathers (1988) or Bring It On! (2000). Since teens are going way back in time to find quality television, they might as well relive some older movies as well.

Another factor that entices teenagers to stream their television is the documentaries that streaming networks offer. Much to the surprise of the general public, teenagers are arguably more interested than ever in making changes to better the world around them. This makes documentaries based on questioning the norm — whether it be eating habits or social standards — attract a wider teenage audience.

The sole factor that’s stopping some from ditching cable altogether to resort entirely on Netflix is either a cable sports or a reality TV addiction. All in all, the lack of caliber from the teen genre of entertainment in general is the biggest contributor to streaming networks’ popularity.