TV Everywhere is Coming Back to the Living Room

A couple watches TV Everywhere in their living room

When our favorite shows began migrating off of TV sets and onto screens like our smartphones, much of the initial reaction focused around consumption on-the-go. Mobile formed the basis of the “TV Everywhere” (TVE) term, as we envisioned a world where people watched TV on the train to work.

Despite the fact that television is embracing multiscreen, the living room TV set is how most viewers watch today. Adobe’s TV Everywhere report for Q2 2016 showed that TV connected devices (TVCDs) have become staples within households for TVE consumption. When we looked at TVE viewing and the change in time spent by device for instance, TVCDs grew 149% year-over-year (YoY), topping browsers, Android and iOS.

Online sales for TVCDs also grew 143% YoY, where we see strong demand for subscription services helping contribute to the growth. The findings in this report showed that through the large number of consumers embracing connected devices within their homes, TVE has returned to the living room.

In an environment where consumers demand reliable, high-quality video experiences across screens, connected devices present a major opportunity for media companies to deliver premium viewing that’s personalized to the individual. The technology should remain invisible to the user, but the experience should aim to delight.

Today at IBC, we announced new capabilities in Adobe Primetime that will help deliver on these points. Media companies will now be able to deliver premium experiences across connected devices that are personalized and buffer-free.

Content also needs to be effectively monetized while ensuring that playback does not suffer. As an industry-first, Adobe is introducing live-linear ad replacement across every screen. As the scale and demands for streaming become increasingly larger, media companies can now seamlessly replace broadcast TV commercials with dynamically targeted ads. Data points ranging from device type and audience behavioral characteristics to Nielsen segments and psychographic data can all be leveraged so audiences get relevant, personalized ads.

The new dynamic ad insertion capabilities deliver on a hybrid approach of both server-side (in the cloud) and client-side (across devices) ad insertion for live and on-demand streaming. When there are millions of people tuning in to an event, ad insertion becomes a huge technological hurdle; this approach helps to prevent hiccups. The new capabilities in Adobe Primetime assist in delivering a consistently high quality and personalized user experience designed to generate higher CPMs.

Watch: Video Shows How to Improve Online TV with Relevant Recommendations

A familiar refrain from my childhood was, “I’m bored. There’s nothing on TV.”

Of course, there were shows on TV, shows that didn’t fit my tastes in that moment. And that was a bad viewer experience.

The ideal experience is one where a viewer can look at the screen, see something to watch, and start watching.

Adobe Primetime Recommendations makes this ideal experience possible for over-the-top (OTT) and TV Everywhere (TVE) video services.

Get to know the ins and outs of our recommendations solution in this video:


OTT and TVE providers have a number of reasons to be excited about Adobe Primetime Recommendations.

  1. It recommends content to new users, who don’t yet have a viewing history. This is achieved by using other existing contextual data sources to inform recommendations.
  2. The recommendations get even better as users establish a viewing history. As new data builds on existing data, the solution uses built-in A/B testing to keep video recommendations current to viewers’ latest preferences.
  3. Recommended videos play instantly. The solution caches recommended videos in advance so that when they’re selected for playback, viewers don’t experience a delay.

Through features like these, Adobe Primetime Recommendations can increase viewer engagement with an OTT or TVE service by up to 30%.

Comcast’s Commitment to TV Everywhere on the Comcast Voices Blog

You’ve already heard from us that “serious attention is required to grow TV Everywhere adoption from 17% to 70%.”

A headline on the Comcast Voices blog about instant, seamless TV EverywhereOne company that’s giving it serious attention is Comcast.

The Comcast Voices blog recently published an insightful update about Comcast’s commitment to TV Everywhere by Matt Strauss. Strauss is the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Video Services for Comcast Cable and serves as a co-chair on CTAM’s TV Everywhere steering committee.

Here are a few highlights from the update:

  • More than 40% of Comcast’s double-play customers are using TV Everywhere every month.
  • Comcast is working with industry partners, including Adobe, to support “a new, universal, scalable solution” for TV Everywhere that’s facilitated by home based authentication and single sign on.
  • This enhancement will “bring TV Everywhere to the next level.”

Be sure to read the whole article on the Comcast Voices blog.

Why VR Was a Hot Topic at the SEAT 2016 Conference

When a friend of mine watched basketball in virtual reality (VR) for the first time, it made him cry. It immersed him into the sport he’s loved since boyhood.

A screenshot of an article in Adweek about Adobe Primetime's virtual cinema capabilities

So, it’s not surprising that VR would be a hot topic at SEAT 2016, a conference that’s attended by leaders in professional and collegiate sports who are in the position to distribute VR content and make more guys like my friend shed tears of joy.

If you’re exploring how to distribute your premium sports content to VR users, get in touch with Adobe Primetime for a demo of our virtual cinema capabilities.

As reported in Adweek, we are “extending features for digital rights management playback and ad-insertion capabilities into virtual reality environments while also introducing virtual reality analytics to help media companies better understand what people are looking at and engaging with in VR.”

Feeling new to VR video?

Get a detailed overview of video viewing on VR and AR headsets in our white paper titled “Capitalizing on Viewer’s Hunger for Virtual and Augmented Reality.” And, read about the 5 hurdles to creating and distributing content in VR.

Growing TV Everywhere Adoption to 70%, Part 4: Enhancing Content Discovery

A hand reaches for a screen to discover content available via TV Everywhere.

Has anyone ever asked you “What’s on TV Everywhere tonight?” Probably not, because it’s a hard question to answer. There are simply not enough easy ways for pay-TV subscribers to explore and be alerted to what they can access via TV Everywhere.

As a result, further innovation in the area of content discovery would be welcome within and across TV Everywhere sites and apps. In fact, TV Everywhere can grow to reach 70% of pay-TV subscribers by the end of 2017 if pay-TV providers improve content discovery, increase consumer awareness and reduce sign-in friction for TV Everywhere viewers.

The current state of content discovery for TV Everywhere viewers

Most of the current methods for discovering TV Everywhere content leave room for improvement. Here’s a few of the most popular methods and their limitations.

  1. Browsing or searching TV Everywhere apps and sites
    Consumers can browse or search within the apps and sites provided by their MVPD or by TV programmers. Often, this method of content discovery doesn’t surface as much of the TVE catalog as the subscriber has access to. For example, a TV programmer’s app will only surface its own content. This isn’t optimal because it forces TV Everywhere viewers to go from app to app and site to site until they find something to watch.
  2. Using third-party services like Yahoo Video Guide, Yidio, or Molotov
    Consumers can create an account with services like Yahoo Video Guide or Yidio in order to get customized recommendations and email alerts about all their favorite TV programming across OTT and TV Everywhere services. Consumers in France will have a third option with Molotov, which begins service on July 11. These content discovery services could eventually provide the ideal experience for consumers. However, they’re currently falling short of the ideal because they’re asking consumers to install another app just for recommendations. The ideal consumer experience would be one app for both recommendations and playback.
  3. Using the interfaces of connected TV devices
    Makers of connected TV devices are also providing innovative content discovery experiences that put TV Everywhere content side-by-side with OTT content. For instance, Apple TV lets users search across multiple apps at the same time with Siri and will soon allow users to access any TV Everywhere app in the search results after providing pay-TV credentials just once. The only downside for consumers with these experiences is that they each only work on one device, a connected TV device. And connected TV devices only make up 23% of TV Everywhere authentications, which means these devices can’t provide a ubiquitous solution to content discovery.

The content discovery obstacles for TV Everywhere

Bottom line, every interface to TV Everywhere needs improvement. This includes all the “pull interfaces” where viewers go to search and browse for content. It also includes all the “push interfaces” where viewers passively receive recommendations.

Here’s some minimum requirements for pull interfaces:

  • Every site and app needs search and browse functionality.
  • Every site and app should personalize the browse functionality for logged-in viewers.
  • Viewers should be able to easily tell the difference between full-episodes and short-form content.
  • Viewers should be able to filter out all the results that they don’t have access to.
  • Viewers should easily be able to see metadata about each movie or program.

Here’s some minimum requirements for push interfaces:

  • Viewers should be able to sign up for personalized email recommendations.
  • Viewers should have access to other ways, besides email, to receive notifications of new content. For instance, the social media accounts of MVPDs, networks, programmers, shows, actors, and actresses could all be used to alert fans to shows they’re likely to be interested in.

One way to quickly enhance your content discovery capabilities is with Adobe Primetime Recommendations. This solution uses machine learning to intelligently surface data-driven, personalized video recommendations to your viewers, which they can play back instantly.

A bright future for content discovery

Competition and innovation in the area of content discovery will eventually correct for today’s limitations. Every player in the pay-TV industry will be a part of making the deep catalog of TV Everywhere content available to viewers. In addition, social networks will play a larger role in content discovery.

Moving seamlessly from awareness to content discovery to sign in

This information about content discovery completes my series on the three critical stages in the consumer’s TV Everywhere journey. Specifically, the ideal TV Everywhere journey is one where viewers:

  1. Know about TV Everywhere and the fact that it gives them access to premium content across hundreds of sites and apps.
  2. Discover content across these hundreds of sites and apps.
  3. Play the TV Everywhere content they’ve found without being slowed down by cumbersome sign in requirements.

The pay-TV industry has a lot to gain by optimizing these stages. They can increase the amount of time that viewers spend with their content, increase the loyalty that pay-TV subscribers feel toward the pay-TV brands that they engage with, and decrease churn.

New TVE Video Viewing Patterns Emerge in Q1 2016 Digital Video Benchmark Report

Adobe Digital Index’s latest Digital Video Benchmark Report shows new TV Everywhere (TVE) consumption trends, including a remarkable similarity between video viewing patterns from Q1 2016 and previous quarters.

For instance, in past quarters we’ve seen that:

  • TVE video viewing continues to rise

In Q1 2016, TVE video viewing grew 58% QoQ and 107% YoY. In the prior quarter, video viewing grew 29% QoQ and 102% YoY.

ADI_Video_1_TvEverywhereAuthenticatedVideoViewingGrowth

 

  • Authentications on TV connected devices continues to rise

In Q1 2016, TV connected devices (i.e. Apple TV, Roku, gaming consoles) accounted for 23% of all TVE authentications, representing a 15% growth YoY. In the prior quarter, TV connected devices accounted for 21% of all TVE authentications, representing a 31% growth YoY.

ADI_Video_2_ProgrammerShareOfTvEverywhereAuthenticationsByAccessType

As of Q1 2016, we now see solid evidence that:

  • TVE viewers are not as “on-the-go” as originally thought

71% of all TVE viewers watched from one location in March 2016. And, this trend is nearly the same on mobile devices where 72% of mobile TVE viewers watched from one location.

ADI_Video_7_TvEverywhereUsersByLocation

ADI_Video_8_TvEverywhereiOSAndAndroidUsersByLocation

  • Multiple devices are used when content is watched from only one location

In aggregate, single-location viewers watched 43% of their content on smartphones, 38% from desktops, and 19% from TV connected devices or gaming consoles in March 2016.

ADI_Video_5_TvEverywhereSingleLocationDeviceShare

For more insights like these, access a full copy of the Q1 2016 Digital Video Benchmark Report.

Adobe and Apple Working Together to Advance the TV Everywhere User Experience

We’re pleased to announce today that we’re working closely with Apple to improve consumer adoption of TV Everywhere (TVE) and address key issues preventing TV Everywhere from reaching its full potential.

Apple announced today at its Worldwide Developers Conference a set of new authentication APIs in iOS and tvOS that enable Single Sign On (SSO) for TVE on Apple devices. Apple’s new authentication APIs will allow users to sign in using their pay-TV credentials, and once signed in, they will not have to sign in again as they’re moving from one TVE app to another.

Apple has also enhanced the user experience on Apple TV by moving to a single screen authentication process. Instead of seeing a registration code and using a laptop to authenticate, users will now be able to enter their username and passwords directly on the Apple TV screen.

Adobe is working to incorporate these new APIs into all Adobe Primetime authentication SDKs, ensuring efficient adoption by programmers. Adobe Primetime is the market leader in TV Everywhere, powering authentication for 95% of broadcaster and cable network sites and apps in North America today.

Adobe will continue to work with programmers, MVPDs, device manufacturers and other partners to make TV Everywhere a seamless, enjoyable user experience, and let consumers access content just as easily as they do today on TVs.

Five Takeaways from TV of Tomorrow San Francisco

At TV of Tomorrow, a conference for the multiplatform TV community, panelists discussed and debated many of the trends impacting the TV industry. The open exchange among leaders in the community provided actionable ideas for addressing the cord-cutting market, increasing TVE penetration, tackling the November elections, and making more compelling content recommendations for viewers.

TOVT Discussion SF

Check out these five takeaways:

  1.     TV Everywhere will grow when MVPDs reduce the sign-in friction. Research shows that many pay-TV subscribers abandon TV Everywhere apps and sites when they hit a sign in wall. To prevent this drop-off, MVPDs can use Home Based Authentication to provide instant access to shows, movies, and sports, inside subscribers’ homes, without having to ask for a username and password. One MVPD has seen their TV Everywhere users double in the past six months with Home Based Authentication.
  2.     Virtual MVPDs have an opportunity to differentiate their services from subscription video on demand (SVOD) services like Netflix by distributing live TV over the Internet in a compelling way. The opportunity is particularly compelling in the news and sports categories, where viewers place a premium on live content. As a result, expect more strategic partnerships to form between virtual MVPDs and programmers of live news and sports.
  3.     Political advertisers in the upcoming elections will put a premium on data-driven media. For instance, these advertisers are looking for ways to identify and target “cross-over” audience segments, which could shift their support from one candidate to another, and “undecided” segments that have not yet chosen a candidate to support. TV sellers are now in direct competition with digital platforms like Facebook and Google for these political advertising dollars.
  4.     The multiplatform TV community agrees that personalized content recommendations are good for viewers and can increase their time spent with TV Everywhere. However, not all players in the community have a deep enough data set to make good recommendations. For example, TV networks often don’t have the depth of content they need to make recommendations within a genre. To solve this problem, companies within the multiplatform TV community can work together to share data so that all players have enough information upon which to make good recommendations. This data can then be used for both ads and content to drive ROI.
  5.     Within ten years, iOT sensors and services will be fully integrated within the household firewall, including those that can distinguish which family members are sitting in front of a screen, ready to begin a viewing session. We may be headed for a future where your TV turns on and recommends content to you at just the right moment in your day. Imagine sitting on the couch after dinner and having your TV turn on and say, “Would you like to watch the news again today?”

Growing TV Everywhere Adoption to 70%, Part 3: Reducing Sign In Friction

Do you want TV Everywhere to reach 70% of pay-TV subscribers by the end of 2017? I’ve outlined here why this is possible and I’ve shared some ideas for getting over the first hurdle to adoption, which is the awareness hurdle. However, before investing significantly in driving awareness, there’s another hurdle to address. It’s the cumbersome sign in process where pay-TV subscribers have to enter in their username and password in order to watch TV Everywhere. 

The current state of TV Everywhere sign in

Currently, TV Everywhere sites and apps ask pay-TV subscribers to sign in with a username and password once every 30 days, on average. If pay-TV subscribers switch to a different TV Everywhere site or app, they may be asked to sign in again. Consumers do not like these sign in requirements and they’re causing consumers to go elsewhere to view entertainment content.

Put yourself in your subscribers’ shoes for a moment. Joe comes home from a long, hard day at work and tries to catch up on his favorite show from a TV Everywhere app on his Roku box. He hits the sign in wall and gets frustrated that he can’t just watch the shows he’s paying for. He exits the TV Everywhere app and opens YouTube where he watches a video blogger he likes instead.

Studies from CTAM and Hub Research have confirmed consumers’ propensity to leave TV Everywhere apps and sites, and seek alternative sources of entertainment, when they come to a sign in wall. Specifically, studies have shown:

Research shows that the majority of online TV viewers would rather watch free or pirated video than enter a username and password to watch premium TV online.

The ideal TV Everywhere sign in experience

In place of the current sign in experience, the ideal experience would be for viewers to move directly from discovering shows to watching shows without hitting a sign in wall at all.

If watching TV Everywhere was more like watching traditional cable or satellite TV — where there is no username or password to enter — viewers would use it more and be happier with the experience. In addition, all efforts to drive awareness of TV Everywhere would be more effective because users would easily progress along the TV Everywhere journey from awareness, to trial, to repeat usage.

The benefits of reducing sign in friction 

There’s a lot to gain by reducing sign in friction. It makes pay-TV subscribers more likely to try TV Everywhere sites and apps and become repeat users. In turn, this leads pay-TV subscribers to become more loyal to their pay-TV provider and to TV networks. For instance, research by The Diffusion Group identified four ways that using TV Everywhere improved consumers’ perceptions of pay-TV providers and TV networks, which are illustrated in the chart below.

Change in consumers’ perceptions due to TV Everywhere use

Q: To what extent has your use of these [TV Everywhere] TV streaming apps changed your perception of the following?

Impact of TV Everywhere Usage on TV Brands

Source: “Streaming Video Survey Analysis,” by The Diffusion Group, January 2016.

Three ways to reduce sign in friction

The industry has at least three ways to move closer to the ideal sign in experience. Industry players can use Home Based Authentication (HBA), support single-sign on, allow persistent authentication, or implement all three options.

Let’s look at these options in more detail.

  1. Use Home Based Authentication
    With Home Based Authentication (HBA), sites and apps that support TV Everywhere can verify subscribers’ access from within the home without asking for a username and password. When one leading multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) implemented Home Based Authentication (HBA), it saw an 82% increase in unique users of TV Everywhere and a 32% increase in engagement with TV Everywhere. This  infographic covers everything you need to know about Home Based Authentication including how to get started. 
  2. Support single sign on
    Single sign on is an authentication process that permits a user to access multiple sites and apps. It can allow a pay-TV subscriber to authenticate once and then jump from site to app to site watching whatever TV Everywhere content that they want without running into any sign in walls. It can work with Home Based Authentication so that a pay-TV subscriber can access the hundreds of TV Everywhere sites and apps from home without ever having to enter their username and password. Or, it can work outside of the home by asking just once for a username and password and then applying that verification to all TV Everywhere sites and apps.
  3. Allow persistent authentication
    Persistent authentication is a capability that keeps audiences logged in forever. Instead of timing privileges out at the end of a viewing session or at the end of a day or even after 30 days, it can keep subscribers authenticated as long as their TV Everywhere consumption adheres to the rules. For example, as long as subscribers don’t participate in password sharing, pay-TV subscribers that are authenticated once can stay authenticated.
  4. Implement all of the above
    The ideal TV Everywhere experience, where viewers can move directly from discovering shows to watching shows without hitting a sign in wall, can be accomplished by implementing Home Based Authentication, single sign on, and persistent authentication. Home Based Authentication would allow pay-TV subscribers to access TV Everywhere sites and apps without having to enter a  username and password. Then, single sign on would let pay-TV subscribers navigate all TV Everywhere sites and apps as an authenticated user. Finally, persistent authentication would keep pay-TV subscribers authenticated forever. Overall, this will provide a welcoming experience to new TV Everywhere users and will help retain existing TV Everywhere users.

Working together to grow TV Everywhere adoption to 70%

This is the third article in a four-part series that aims to spark the actions that will help the pay-TV industry take TV Everywhere adoption to new heights. In the first article, I provided an overview of the awareness, sign in, and discovery stages of consumers’ TV Everywhere journey. In the second article, I shared some ideas for increasing consumers’ awareness of TV Everywhere. In this article, I covered how to reduce sign in friction. My next and final article in the series will explore what needs to happen with content discovery in order to drive adoption.

Adobe Primetime Receives “Most Significant Impact” Award at TVOT Show

TTVTThis week, we’re attending the TV of Tomorrow (TVOT) Show in San Francisco alongside many of our customers and partners to collaborate and learn about the current and future state of the TV industry. It’s been great connecting with so many different industry players around what’s needed to move the industry forward, technological advancements, and emerging business models that will take TV to the next level with a more personalized, engaging and relevant consumer viewing experience across screens.

Last night, [itvt]‘s 13th Annual Awards for Leadership in Interactive and Multiplatform Television were presented and Adobe Primetime was honored with the “Most Significant Impact Award.” Thank you to the TVOT Show committee and judges for presenting us with this award. It truly reinforces the impact Adobe Primetime has had on the industry over the past year…and we’re not slowing down.

TTVT2
Adobe’s Art Mimnaugh (left) accepts the award on the Primetime team’s behalf

With the help of Adobe Primetime’s partner ecosystem, we’re committed to delivering the best TV delivery and monetization solutions to our customers that will ultimately benefit consumers when and where they want to watch their favorite content.

If you’re attending the TVOT Show, check out my panel today at 9:10 a.m. on “Discovery, Personalization and the TV User Experience,” where I’ll be discussing the latest developments shaping tomorrow’s TV user experience alongside Alticast, Digitalsmiths, Next Media Partners, Tru Optik, and Viacom. We also have our resident TV Everywhere expert, Horia Galatanu, speaking on a panel at 2:45 p.m. today on “Strengthening the TV Everywhere Proposition,” which will dive into how TVE can protect pay-TV from cord-cutters and cord-shavers (as well as increase its appeal to cord-nevers).