Serious attention is required to grow TV Everywhere adoption from 17% to 70%
At Adobe, we believe that consumer adoption of pay-TV across screens, also known as TV Everywhere, can grow to reach 70% of pay-TV subscribers by the end of 2017. It’s a reasonable prediction because there’s already a large and growing audience that’s regularly watching TV programming on connected devices. For example, 91 million adults in the U.S. viewed content on a TV-connected device during an average week in July 2015, as measured by Nielsen. In the same week, 95 million adults watched smartphone video, 76 million watched PC video, and 36 million watched tablet video.
Yet, getting TV Everywhere adoption from the 17.4% of pay-TV subscribers that it reaches now to 70% of pay-TV subscribers will require a serious industry effort to improve the consumer’s TV Everywhere journey. As the industry invests in this effort, we believe TV Everywhere will also be complemented by direct-to-consumer (D2C) OTT services, which are growing the overall market for online TV programming. Both TV Everywhere and D2C services have an important role to play in the future of TV.
Where to focus in the TV Everywhere journey to drive adoption and use
The consumer’s TV Everywhere journey starts with awareness, should grow with content discovery, and should not be impeded by cumbersome sign in requirements. That’s why Adobe views these three stages — awareness, content discovery, and sign-in — as the critical stages that the pay-TV industry should focus on in order to drive TV Everywhere adoption and use.
Let’s take a closer look at the challenges at each stage:
- Among pay-TV subscribers who don’t use TV Everywhere, 53% say they’ve never heard the term — Pay-TV subscribers need to know what TV Everywhere is, how to get started with it, and the key fact that it’s included with their existing cable or satellite TV service. It’s a big challenge to communicate how one set of credentials, in the form of a username and password from the consumer’s cable or satellite TV provider, provides access to hundreds of premium sites and apps. However, once consumers know this and experience the incredible value of it for themselves, it’ll boost their satisfaction with pay-TV and the loyalty they have to their pay-TV provider.
- There’s no channel flipping to drive awareness of new programming on pay-TV — Once consumers have tried TV Everywhere, they need easy methods to explore and be alerted to what they can access, and where and when it can be accessed. Where channel flipping and word of mouth were the traditional ways of discovering new content through linear TV, something has to clue users into where to go for that live sporting event they want to watch or the new series premiere they’re excited about.
- TV-E is still difficult to sign into and access - Deadline reports that cable and satellite companies have badly botched their rollout of TV Everywhere streaming. Even when consumers get past the awareness and content discovery hurdles and begin to use TV Everywhere on a regular basis, the sign in requirements are too cumbersome. The ideal experience would be for viewers to move directly from a content discovery mode to playing the actual content itself without hitting a sign in wall.
The challenges at each of these three critical stages in the consumer’s TV Everywhere journey are very different from one another. The first is largely a marketing challenge, the second an innovation challenge, and the third a technical challenge. But the goal of addressing these challenges is the same: to help TV Everywhere reach its full potential to entertain approximately 78 million pay-TV subscribers every month.
Tune in next time to continue the focus on growing TV Everywhere adoption to 70%
This is the first 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 articles to follow this one, I’m going to do a deep dive into each critical stage in the journey. I’ll focus on increasing consumer awareness, enhancing content discovery, and reducing sign in friction. I hope you’ll join me next week for the deep dive into how the pay-TV industry can grow consumer awareness of TV Everywhere.