Streaming Disruption

I read this article on The Verge over the weekend and wanted to try and connect a few dots and look at where streaming media is going. The article was primarily about Samsung’s recent announcement that they were not going to introduce new Blu-ray or 4K Blu-ray player models. As the article points out, “spinning disc” technology is dying out. I have to be honest, I never bought into Blu-ray. I watched VCR’s go through there cycle, then CD’s .. I just watch for a while, and jumped to streaming.

From Nielsen’s Q2 2018 report, as quoted on The Verge:

“Some devices, such as DVD/Blu-ray players, are in the declining phase of their product life cycle as streaming devices gain prominence,” reads Nielsen’s Q2 2018 report, adding that only 66 percent of TV watching households have one now, compared to 72 percent the year before. Nielsen also says the average US adult spends just 5 minutes a day — by far the least of any screen activity — using a Blu-ray or DVD player.

As for DVD and Blu-ray... it’s not looking good. Check out the chart below, but if you are looking for the CD/Blu-ray sliver, get a magnifying glass. This is how adults, 18 years old and older, are consuming media. The reality is, this is not about the ‘best’ media experience, it’s about the most convenient access to content. Mobile and the internet are impacting how people consume content, and streaming is the future.

Image: Nielsen via TheVerge

Image: Nielsen via TheVerge

Pew Research released the results of a 2017 study that said that, “6 in 10 young adults in the U.S. primarily use online streaming to watch TV.” Here is how it breaks down, by age:


This should not be a surprise. HBO Go, Netflix, Hulu, and other services have changed how people in the US, and even the world, are consuming content. While people my age (over 60), tend to watch cable, the future is streaming.

My grandchildren would much prefer to watch YouTube than a movie. You may get them to put down a mobile device and watch a movie , but they will quickly go back to consuming YouTube as soon as the credits start to roll. You can talk about how bad this is for society, but it is where technology is taking us.

Technology advances will move this trend forward at an even faster pace as tomorrow becomes today. Streaming bandwidth continues to improve, and now you can stream a 4K video on your mobile device or on your big screen TV. The content is available when and where you want to consume it.

The technologies that are around the corner will most certainly make streaming even better and will open new doors for media consumption. Has this played out? No, we are at the early stages of amazing changes in media consumption. Hang on tight.

~ Rick

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©2019 Rick Cartwright

Rick Cartwright