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Watch This Way: TV has changed in some very big ways

One thing we think about a lot at Google Fiber is how to help our customers get more out of their Internet. We get a lot of questions about what you can do with a gig and how to make sure you are taking advantage of all that truly fast speed. Customers from coast to coast want to know more about watching TV over the Internet — how it works, what devices to use, and where to get the content you want. With that in mind, we’re kicking off a series of blog posts called “Watch This Way” on all things streaming, beginning with a look at how things have changed over the last 10 years.

A lot has happened over the past decade, like the onset of ride-sharing apps, the rise of plant-based meat, and the invention of the selfie-stick. But one thing that’s really changed is how we watch TV. The Internet’s evolution has opened up new innovations and technologies both for how content is created and how content is viewed.

In 2009, on the cusp of the last decade, there were only 1.8 billion Internet users. That means just 26% of the world’s population regularly accessed the web. Now way more people are online. By 2019, the number of Internet users rose to a reported 4.5 billion (that’s 59% of the world’s population!).

Way back then, the way we watched must-see TV was certainly different. In 2010, Netflix had yet to release its first original show (that’s right — no House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, or Stranger Things) — they were still shipping a lot of DVDs to your house. There were actually a handful of streaming services, mostly for those early-adopter types who like to be trying the next big thing before everyone else.

Today, there are many streaming services to choose from, each with their own perks — and programming. So if you only enjoy watching live sports and your significant other refuses to watch shows that aren’t critically acclaimed horror masterpieces, you can still make your relationship work. As more programming becomes available, more and more people are tuning in. 74% of people stream some sort of TV, whether it’s live sports with a side of horror movies or something entirely different.

Our TVs have gotten a lot smarter too. Ten years ago, the technology was still emerging, and companies were taking different approaches at getting it right. The evolution of smart TVs has made the impossible totally possible — you can watch TV and stream videos over the Internet, right to your TV screen without an additional device (and probably also check your email and tweet about the shows you are watching too). Not only can they do more than your typical TV, like work with smart home devices, but they also have a bunch of built-in or downloadable streaming services to meet your every content desire.

All this has led to one big change. In 2010, most people had cable and couldn’t imagine living without it. In 2013, approximately 10 million American households had cut the cord. By 2019, that number nearly tripled — about 29 million have cut the cord, and it’s expected to rise further. By 2023, the number of cutters is expected to rise to 41 million. And by as soon as 2022, 22% of Internet videos and 62% of TVs will be 4K, which means that not only is there more to watch, but we’ll be doing it in higher quality. . .which means one thing for sure: Gigabit Internet will definitely come in handy.

Learn more about how to make the switch to streaming.

Posted by Google Fiber Marketing

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