Streaming services like Netflix, lovefilm, 4od, demand5, Hulu and BBC iplayer are all online platforms that allow people to watch movies and television shows on demand. With today’s uber busy lifestyle and constant Internet access, gone are the days when one was tethered to the TV schedule if they wanted to keep up with the latest hit show.
I remember a time when the bane of movie night was making a trip to the local blockbuster to rent DVD. Subsequently spending 45 minutes perusing the selection, arguing over which DVDs to pick for selecting a few, getting home and arguing for another 15 minutes over which one to watch before even getting to watch the film. Then along came lovefilm. With a monthly subscription, Suddenly I could just create a list of films I wanted to watch and they would send a couple of DVDs at a time for me to watch before free posting them back so they could send me the next few titles on my list. Life was indeed wonderful. With the appearances of services like BBC iplayer, 4od and demand5, I could now catch up and discover shows online in my own time, freed from the burden of having to be in front of my TV at a time designated by the network schedule.
Then came Netflix, Oh glorious Netflix. Hundred of titles available at my fingertips, from feature films, TV series’ and documentaries to kids shows. Netflix ushered in the age of endless hours of content to stream over the Internet for a low low price of £5.99 a month, with nothing hidden in app costs. Since it’s launch in 1999, Netflix is now available on games consoles, smart TVS, tablets, smartphones and computers (so basically everywhere.)
What a time to be alive!
Having so much content available at any time on basically any device has created new trends and struggles particularly amongst millennials not the least of which being binge watching.
Binge watching: A period or bout, usually brief, of excessive indulgence, as in eating, drinking alcoholic beverages, etc.; spree.
Binge watching is a new phenomenon where in someone goes on an uncontrollable binge on a single TV show or series of some sort. Something I myself have succumbed to many times over, most recently centered on watching all 4 seasons of ‘prison break’ back to back in one week. Truth be told, binge watching is now my preferred way of enjoying TV shows. Being the impatient person I am, the ability to watch every episode of a show or season back to back makes me feel so much more immersed in the storyline, cutting out the frustrations of having to wait a whole week and most importantly getting rid of commercial breaks! # what time to be alive!
With services like Netflix now available on such a wide range of platforms, it’s now easier to enjoy your content from anywhere, on the go with your smartphone or tablet, through your smart TV or games console, or your computer from the comfort of your own home. With handy features like continued playback allowing you to continue program on one that that you started on another, Netflix remote and search optimization, all the content recommended to you is based on your preferences, watch history and ratings to provide accurate suggestions for you to enjoy.
Other streaming services like playstation store, iTunes Store rely less so on monthly subscriptions, but more on individual content rental and purchases.