If Netflix were a Nielsen-rated TV network, the No. 1 streaming service would, within a year, attain a larger 24-hour audience than each of the major broadcast networks â€” ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC â€” according to a Wall Street analyst firm.
June 2016 is far into the future, and I am certain no human knows what will happen by then. But some of us try. The Wall Street analyst firm — we all know how accurate Wall Street analyst firms are when it comes to predicting the future — is FBR Capital Markets whose analysts Barton Crockett and Chase White wrote:
Netflix subscribers clearly like it more than pay TV, which we see as arguing for pricing leverage, since pay TV, on average, costs over $80 per month.
The average monthly cost for Netflix: $8.
We haven’t had pay TV for many years and don’t plan to go back. Will the U.S. be watching Netflix more than ABC or Fox in about a year? Who knows. If I had it my way, I’d pay only for the shows I watch and not bother paying a penny more for shows I don’t. For example: $10 for 10 episodes of Game of Thrones. Maybe a little less since this last season was less exciting than previous seasons. And when the show is done for the season I don’t need to keep paying a monthly subscription.
What drives Netflix and other online video streaming services are widely available access to fast and affordable broadband. Our one-year low-price deal with Comcast ended last month so we’ve been bumped down from 50mbps to 3mbps (we’re paying the same amount). So in about a month we will be saying hello to Sonic (no bump downs after a year): 20mbps for the same price with a couple nifty extras. Competition is a good thing.