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How has streaming changed our lives?

A woman watches a video on her laptop. Share your opinions on streaming and video at Opinion Outpost

Paid online surveys say we’re watching more TV than ever. But is this soley down to technology? Here’s how streaming has changed our lives.

We recently made a big decision in our house – we decided to streamline. And I’m not talking go-faster stripes; we decided to become a completely streamed household. Out went the all the DVDs (the VHS tapes were long gone), alongside every CD we owned. It was cathartic, slightly sad, and very odd. You see – some of these titles had sentimentality attached (the first DVD I ever got for Christmas, for example) but it also left our lounge feeling bare. With all that went out the CD and DVD stands and, of course, the DVD player itself.

I had protested this over the last few months, but in the end it made sense. It seemed like a waste of money – but surely our subscriptions each month for Spotify music streaming, Netflix, Amazon Prime and a well-known magazine title meant that, actually, it was a waste to have both hanging around?

This drastic action in our household is just the tip of the iceberg of change; just how much has our society has changed with the introduction of streaming?

Paid online surveys reveal changes in behaviour with TV streaming

According to paid online surveys , us Brits now spend a decade of our adult life watching TV. If you had the chance to share your thoughts in opinion polls on this, you’ll probably also know that one in 14 of us spend more than 40 hours a week watching programmes. We just love our telly. And streaming gives us access to a greater than ever choice of programmes.

For most of us in the UK now, we no longer have to tune in to see our programmes going out on air. Paid surveys say 8 out of 10 of us stream using catch-up programmes, leading to the end of an era of families gathering around the TV to watch a programme together. The idea of channel-surfing is also on its way out, as streaming offers a planned programme decision. Ofcom found that 45% of people now watch a programme or film alone every day, while 9 in 10 watch alone every week. What’s more, one third of Britons say members of their household sit together in the same room watching different programmes on different devices. It seems the days of arguing over who has the remote are long gone. Whilst streaming gives us an overwhelming choice, it can also isolate us in the mean time.

Another shift in behaviour is the idea of a ‘binge-watch’. Before streaming, this WAS possible with a DVD box set, but with streaming it seems to make it more likely (perhaps autoplay of the next streamed episode has a lot to answer for). Netflix’s recent paid online survey found that 61% of us regularly binge-watch. Maybe because we don’t have to store all these episodes. (I guarantee I would watch fewer TV series if I actually had to go out and buy, then store, a physical disc of them all.) It simply means we can dip in and out, try something, and if we don’t like what we see we can simply ditch it and find another series (probably and, rather handily, suggested to us by our faithful streaming programme). Such has our watching culture shifted that new series are being tailored to the binge-watch style, according to paid online surveys.

Paid online surveys ask – is streaming bad?

In a consumerist society, the idea of on-demand watching and listening is a great one. It’s convenient, it’s fully mobile and it’s a huge achievement in technology.

The notion of music streaming has also changed our lives, and the way we access and purchase the songs we like. Have a read of our previous blog about music streaming – it’s great for us but overall can be bad for many artists.

TV though seems to be going from strength to strength. TV popularity and programme making shows no signs of slowing down, and according to some paid online surveys some series cost as much as many films do to make.

Of course, streaming of films has also taken its toll on video and DVD rentals (not only did Blockbuster pack up back in 2010, but LoveFilm – which offered DVD rental by post – will also close down in 2017). But where some businesses fail with changing technology, there are always the winners – Netflix being just one of them. Change is always a double edged sword.

But what about us? We have more space, we have more choice, and we arguably have better calibre of shows to choose from. One study though did find a link between binge-watching and depression. It seems even streaming requires some moderation.

But you can’t halt progress, after all. A few of my friends gawped at our decision to streamline, but now we have all this extra space (and less clutter) I’m sure they will soon do the same. Sorry, streaming, as much as I love you I did insist on keeping my books though – that’s one thing I simply refuse to rely on a screen for.

How has streaming changed YOUR life? Do you love it or loathe it? Share your thoughts in our opinion polls and join the discussion on our Facebook page to let us know. Plus, don’t forget to earn money online with paid market research and exciting surveys for cash at Opinion Outpost UK.

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