Cutting the cord illustration. Image by: Ben Mounsey / Money.com
Cutting the cord illustration. Image by: Ben Mounsey / Money.com

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Written by: Matthew McGuire
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The era of streaming content has hit mainstream in 2015. There has been a major influx of new companies that have established in the past five years. Users may find confusion within the vast amount of selections to choose from when consuming music, video and online content.

Mobile devices have produced new platforms for users to absorb and create video content. Traditionally, video and motion picture was released in theaters and later on cable to televisions at home. When the Internet was first introduced as a media platform, the speed to deliver the content was slow and in development. Over the past 20 years, Internet speed has increased at home and on mobile devices.

The ideology behind grouping content together on a centralized distribution channel continues to fade with each new generation. My grandmothers would once go to the movie theater to see a motion picture with dozens of friends and members of the local community.

My parents’s generation would lead the transition from the industrial revolution to the technology evolution taking place today. Traditional platforms of distribution still have their place, but continue to see more users transition to mobile devices.

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The luxury of being able to watch a piece of content on a handheld device on the go, and at home is a nice option for some users. It has been noted that depending on the content being watched, such as a sporting event, some users would rather watch that on a larger screen in a living room setting. At the same time, I have seen a large increase of younger audiences being strongly connected to mobile gaming in comparison to home entertainment.

In the next few sections, there is a breakdown of the streaming services being offered for television, music and media.


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Television has evolved in a similar manner to the Anoles lizard. National Geographic and scientists Alex Gunderson & Manuel Leal of Duke University have noted that the presence of a ground-dwelling predator forged a strong and rapid change with longer hindlimbs within a single generation used to climb higher. The overall group of Anoles is a beautiful example of Island bio-evolution, much like the finches that Darwin brought home from the Galapagos.

The correlation is that only the strongest survive in the jungle, but also within content distribution. The next section goes over the different motion picture streaming services. Sports fans can pick up the major league platforms for close to $11 per month for each professional sport.

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[av_iconlist_item title=’Amazon Prime’ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue924′ font=’entypo-fontello’]
Amazon Prime is $99 per year/$49 a year for students.

  • Original content.
  • Add-free music streaming service.
  • Free two-day shipping on Amazon products.
  • Amazon Acoustics

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[av_iconlist_item title=’HBO Now’ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue8ac’ font=’entypo-fontello’]
HBO Now & HBO Go:

  • Users that have an HBO Go account will have their accounts setup through the cable provider.
  • HBO Now users will be able to setup an account to watch HBO content without a cable provider.
  • Both methods allow users to watch HBO original content on multiple devices. The cost per month is $15 per month.

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[av_iconlist_item title=’Hulu’ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue8ab’ font=’entypo-fontello’]
Hulu costs $8 per month.

  • The platform provides day after viewing of for the following televised programs.
  • NBC
  • ABC
  • Disney
  • Fox
  • BBC

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[av_iconlist_item title=’YouTube’ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue921′ font=’entypo-fontello’]
YouTube: Gaming, live videos, and movies

  • YouTube Movies provides a subscription free platform for users to purchase videos per film, or television shows by season. This gives users the ability to watch the films they have purchased through the YouTube account over time, as well as giving them the option to pay per video.
  • YouTube Gaming is set to take over the Summer of 2015. YouTube has recently announced a streaming service for gamers that will rival Amazon’s Twitch. Web link at:  https://gaming.youtube.com/coming_soon
  • YouTube Mix / YouTube Music Key are options within the YouTube platform to locate new music. YouTube Music Key is still in development. It looks like YouTube Gaming will be released before Music Key, but both options have an email update function to find out when these channels go live.

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[av_iconlist_item title=’Netflix’ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue8b1′ font=’entypo-fontello’]
Netflix cost $9 per month.

  • Original content. On-demand viewing options.
  • Available in over 20 countries.
  • Subscriber count over 65 million, with 42.3 million in the U.S. and 23.35 million internationally.
  • Watch over 10,000 past television shows, and movies.

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[av_iconlist_item title=’Sling’ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue86c’ font=’entypo-fontello’]
Sling is $20 per month.

  • Sling provides the following channels to watch online. (One of the biggest current setbacks is only one person per household can use Sling’s service at a time.)
  • ESPN
  • AMC
  • A&E
  • TNT
  • CNN
  • The Food Network

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[av_font_icon icon=’ue802′ font=’entypo-fontello’ style=’border’ caption=’Music streaming services’ link=” linktarget=” size=’60px’ position=’center’ color=”][/av_font_icon]

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In addition to video streaming, a large amount of technology companies are looking to expand there music streaming services. Apple is the latest company to throw their hat into the turbulent mix, and have witnessed a collection of reactions.

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[av_iconlist_item title=’Apple Music’ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue920′ font=’entypo-fontello’]
Apple Music costs $9.99-$14.99 per month

  • Single users can purchase a monthly subscription for $9.99 and families can have it up to six users for $14.99.
  • Apple Music is available on multiple devices. They are set to have it ready for Android devices this upcoming fall.
  • Apple Music is available in over 100 countries.

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[av_iconlist_item title=’Spotify Premium’ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue907′ font=’entypo-fontello’]
Spotify Premium costs $9.99 per month.

  • 3 months for $.99 and $9.99 per month after the trial period.
  • Listen in to new music, and download for offline listening.
  • No ads.

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[av_iconlist_item title=’Pandora ‘ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue860′ font=’entypo-fontello’]
Pandora One costs $4.99 per month.

  • Shows lyrics to each song.
  • Provides an on-demand listening experience.
  • Listener Hours: Total listener hours grew 5% to 5.30 billion for the second quarter of 2015, compared to 5.04 billion for the same period last year.
  • Active Listeners: Active listeners were 79.4 million at the end of the second quarter of 2015, compared to 76.4 million from the same period last year.

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[av_iconlist_item title=’Google Play’ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue897′ font=’entypo-fontello’]
Google Play costs $9.99 per month

  • Over 30 million songs in the Google Play Music library.
  • Google Play Music allows access to the YouTube Music Key beta. Enjoy millions of music videos ad-free, and keep the music playing in the background or when you’re offline.
  • You can even download music on your device to listen offline without interruption. Connect with Chromecast or Sonos to easily send music to the best speakers in your home.
  • Add your iTunes® library to Google Play for free, bringing all of your songs and playlists with you, as well as personalizing your radio and recommendations for what to play next.

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