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Rise of a video empire

Sarah Grier, Pulse Editor

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We live in a world of immediate news, communication and entertainment. Even President Donald Trump tweets his policy ideas. Now when a slight buffer occurs it is a way bigger inconvenience than it should be, let alone sitting for a commercial. Netflix is a company that provides TV shows and movies immediately. No ads, no buffers (given you download the show), no commercials, just shows. The constantly changing content is available anywhere at anytime. It’s every movie junky and TV addict’s dream.

Netflix was founded in 1997 providing DVDs via mail to its subscribers. Today, Netflix has over 109 million subscription accounts to the site, 128 million viewers annually and is a $187 million company. Netflix holds the majority of the video streaming sector, continually beating out its main competitors Amazon Prime and Hulu.

Starting in November, Netflix began raising the price of its top tier plans, keeping the $7.99 one screen plan untouched. The standard $9.99 service (which includes two screens and HD) was changed to $10.99 and the premium tier (four screens and ultra HD) rose from $11.99 to $13.99.

With a large amount of monthly subscribing customers, why does Netflix continue to raise its prices? Netflix claims it is to raise more revenue for more original and new additional content. However, Glenn Hower, a senior analyst at Parks Associates, an industry research firm, claims this price spike is because Americans are willing to spend $100 annually on television. Netflix is just capitalizing on this.

With a rising alternative entertainment service, it is no wonder that traditional TV subscribers haven fallen 2.5 percent decline this quarter. This is the historically lowest amount of subscribers to cable TV and this decline is only expected to rise to 3 percent by 2018. This is a new phenomenon known as “cord-cutting,” referring to cutting the cable cord.

Netflix has changed the way Americans view television. The idea of binge-watch a whole season on its release date was nonexistent. You couldn’t just start an episode of “The Office” on the train; but, America needs a distraction, a unifier. At the end of the day, what’s more uniting than the “Stranger Things” kids?

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