How Millennials Sunk America’s Strongest Industry

The Millennial Generation lacks definition in a start and endpoint, generalized as those born between the early 1980's through the early 2000's.  Similar to each preceding generation, they oft prop a negative stigma as a perpetrator to a negative moment.  As in "Those damn millennials are destroying work etiquette and standards."  Millennials make a convenient culprit when society laments on unorthodox/progressive changes to lifestyle, work and social norms.  They are, however responsible for leading to the decline of America's durable industry: the cable, satellite and television industries. 

Don't go into the TV light.  Cable punches a hole in your bank account.
Millennials indeed led the crusade to sink an unstoppable industry who reigned powerful since the early 80's.  Why did they inadvertently destroy the very industry which shaped much of their social norms?  Millennials did not plot and manipulate, but rather adapted to bleak economic conditions which plagued the globe since 2007.  This generation not only faced insulting downgrades in career opportunities, but also continual price hikes from cable and internet providers.  Forced to make cuts to make their household function, this generation wisely realized all they needed was electricity and the net to entertain themselves and cancelled cable subscriptions.  Frugal cost-cutting Millennials with DVD players realized Netflix offered enough entertainment material to cater to their increasingly unorthodox schedules as they forged to pay the bills.  And thus began the decline of cable, satellite and television industries. 

2007 benchmarked the continual onslaught of Nielsen ratings decline, all the while YouTube radiated in prominence.  Marketers cornered a new niche in online viewing, and broadcast networks followed suit and offered their marquee productions online to stay relevant.  As Nielsen ratings continued to decline, online entertainment outlets continued to capitalize on their coveted demographic choosing to watch television on their own schedule.  New platforms such as Hulu dangled bait, offering the same series people clamored for on cable television and allowed a younger generation to bypass the norms of paying into the gluttonous cable, Dish and DirecTV bills. 

As the recession/depression raged on, all generations were devastated by setbacks and downgrades in the workplace.  This forced Generation X and Baby Boomers to follow Millennials' lead and ponder a life without 65-300 channels at their entertainment disposal.  The tech savvyblack sheep Millennial generation educated their elders not only on leaner living with household expenses, but the pleasures they experienced yanking the cord on greedy entertainment providers.  Said "providers" forced disgruntled subscribers to wade through increasing commercials, mid-season repeats, lazy scheduling of entertainment and an outdated business model with few updates since the early 90's.  Pulling that cord enlightened the public a world existed outside of suffering through networks and cable providers controlling what viewers watched.  And the Millennials are to blame and/or praise depending upon viewpoint. 

As the 2010's formed its decade identity, trendier folks boasted of being free of a greedy industry gouging their checking accounts monthly.  Those who fed the system became dated, a contrast to the early 80's when those of status boasted their cable television subscriptions.  Online platforms upped the ante and launched original programming to be enjoyed in binge any month of the year.  Rather than suffering through summer doldrums of reality TV, repeats and cheap programming, viewers were able to enjoy riveting series which enriched creativity in production and variety to distinguish themselves from tired franchises such as Two and a Half Men and The Bachelor.  Netflix, Hulu and Amazon offered platforms to enjoy selected television at nominal fees opposing cable and satellite providers demanding $100+ to enjoy the same variety.  Hit with declines in cable subscriptions in the 2010's, premium platforms HBO, Skinemax and Showtime jumped trend and offered independent subscriptions to reach independent viewers who declared "Hell No!" to paying outrageous prices for select programming. 

How did cable and satellite providers respond to decreased revenues and subscriptions?  Not only did they continue to shamelessly price gouge, but they also downgraded quality staff, eroding customer satisfaction further.  They attempted to use coveted landlines as a bartering chip in bundles in an effort to prevent desertion.  Too bad those damn Millennials taught their elders the survival skill in relying on mobile lines vs. suffering through telemarketers selling cremation packages and shameless political advertisements.  Yes indeed, America's youngest working generation sank and destroyed the stranglehold of another greedy entity held over entertainment-dependent viewers, and the onslaught continues.  Why would one pay outrageous prices from a cable company when YouTube TV, Pluto and AT&T now offer streams for cheaper? 

America's newest generation of working adults managed to sink America's strongest industry.  Thanks to their defiance, the cable companies have suffered gravely after decades of uninterrupted success.  30+ uninterrupted years of continual price hikes, rude receptionists and incompetent technicians tying up our schedules so viewers can watch the programming they paid heavily for.  Enjoy the adventure, as Millennials contribute to sinking a strong industry and allowing viewers to experience at their own pace.   And for that, let's be thankful to them.

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