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  (Source: blog.unl.edu)
Convergence Consulting Group expects a decrease in the number of customers signing up for Internet streaming services throughout 2012 and 2013 because of rising licensing costs

With the rising popularity of video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, many believed that customers would say goodbye to traditional cable services and flock to more affordable internet-based alternatives. However, a new report says otherwise.

Convergence Consulting Group, a Canadian research firm, released a new report this week that shows a jump in video streaming popularity from 2008 to 2011, but predicts a decline in 2012 and 2013.

The report found that 2.65 million Americans left their cable TV providers for internet subscriptions between 2008 and 2011. Cable TV packages were just too expensive while internet subscription companies like Netflix offered low monthly prices for a variety of content that can be viewed on several different devices.

In 2011, only 112,000 U.S. citizens signed up for cable TV packages. This is a significant drop from 272,000 who signed up in 2010.

However, Convergence Consulting Group doesn't see this trend lasting. In fact, it expects a decrease in the number of customers signing up for internet streaming services throughout 2012 and 2013 because of rising licensing costs.

In 2010, Netflix had to pay $1.1 billion in streaming rights. In 2011, this price jumped dramatically to $3.9 billion. With rising costs, Netflix was forced to up its subscription prices from $9.99 a month for video streaming and DVD rental-by-mail to $15.98 for both, or $7.99 for video streaming or DVD rental-by-mail separately. This move angered customers to the point that Netflix was forced to lower its Q3 2011 subscriber forecasts from 25 million to 24 million. Other issues, such as limited streams and a DVD spinoff company called Qwikster (which was later killed off), caused customers to leave as well.

Convergence Consulting Group only sees streaming rights prices increasing annually from this point forward, and predicts that video streaming companies will have financial troubles ahead due to these price increases. In other words, the future of Netflix, Hulu and others is unclear for now, and high prices may lead to less relevant content, meaning fewer incentives for customers to join.

Last month, Netflix said it planned to join forces with cable services at some point in the future in order to compete with HBO Go, but Comcast later shot the video streaming service down, saying it had no plans to offer Netflix on its Xfinity TV service.

Source: Yahoo





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