The days of having to call up your local cable company to get access to some TV channels are long gone. Today somebody can just go to a website, create an account, and enter some payment info to watch live TV. Because of this, subscribers are leaving cable behind in favor of streaming services like Sling TV, Hulu, and Netflix.
Honestly, who can blame them?
Cable streaming is a much more enjoyable experience than regular cable. One of the biggest reasons is you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on a cable box that shuts off in the middle of the night to update (looking at you, Xfinity).
I recently purchased a Roku box and it's so convenient that I'm able to move it between my room and the living room. It also only cost me $25. The streaming services I use have no ads, unless it's a live TV service like Sling. There are thousands of others who have done the same and are experiencing something that is affordable and convenient - for now, that is.
As these streaming services begin to grow and add more content, they will need to increase their subscription fee. This just happened with Netflix for the second time in four years. Netflix is slowly getting rid of non-original movies and TV shows because they would like to primarily feature their own original content. If you've ever spent 20 minutes trying to find something to watch on Netflix, this is probably why.
With no streaming service to put their content on, production companies will end up making their own streaming service. Remember when "Friends" almost got removed from Netflix? That was because Warner Brothers wanted to have it for its own streaming service. Those Disney and Marvel movies you see on there now? They'll be gone once Disney launches their Disney Plus service.
These streaming services are becoming the equivalent of cable channels. What makes this even worse is that even though the whole appeal of streaming services is that they are ad-free or at least have an ad-free tier, they still have commercials.
Within the next decade, cable companies will have to do something to combat these streaming services. Because despite all of the annoyances I listed, streaming services will still be cheaper than cable. I see cable companies raising internet costs in order to discourage people from using streaming services. At that point, people with subscriptions to multiple streaming services who pay for internet may end up paying what they'd pay if they had cable. (Of course, this isn't much of a problem if you pirate and illegally download or stream things, which plenty of people do.)
No matter what streaming service you use as a cord cutter, cable companies are still able to affect how you use these services. Will this continue forever? Only time will tell.