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Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and so many others are steadily gaining popularity. It isn’t hard to believe either when you see the cost of the competition. Cable television executives met recently to try and figure out why they’re losing ground, and what they can do to pick up the market share that they have steadily been losing – as more users choose streaming services over the traditional cable choices.

Cable has historically been overpriced and laced with content that consumers simply don’t want to pay for. Whether they’re channels that are unwatched, or networks that offer more advertising dollars for the cable company than it does raw content for the end-user. That being said, it was revealed that television viewership is down as much as 10% and it’s not on the upswing, either. Even more telling was the statistic that showed the drop off in ratings was due to streaming services like Hulu or Netflix in at least 40% of the total instances.

Neilson reported that “the U.S. television industry is entering a period of prolonged structural decline,” and that very note speaks to the problem that exists within the framework of the cable industry. Cable has offered few options for consumers, and now, even as streaming services work to find their own stronghold in the market – consumers are simply enticed by the notion of having options.

Interestingly, the numbers also told the story of what the future of cable television looks like. It pointed to the 1.5 million American’s who plan on leaving cable networks entirely, and the other 2.4 million who pointed out that they would be significantly reducing the type of package they have with their cable company. Cable has become more of a burden than it has a real service with the lack of competition that exists within the framework of the various cable systems on the market.

While it’s entirely understandable to want something – like cable – if other options don’t exist. As soon as better, and more content-friendly options begin showing up – the drop off was going to be seen. Now it will be interesting to see how cable companies react over the course of the next several years now that a legitimate trend has been identified. Cable companies can come down hard on streaming services, and they can even blame them – but that doesn’t mean that they are going to change the nature of their situation by doing so.