I recently shared the belief that consumer adoption of TV Everywhere can grow to reach 70% of pay-TV subscribers by the end of 2017. This level of adoption is possible because TV Everywhere makes a huge amount of high-quality content available to pay-TV subscribers on all of the most popular connected devices at no additional cost. What’s not to like?
And, TV Everywhere has been growing, just not fast enough. For instance, between Q4 2014 and Q4 2015, TV Everywhere experienced 36% growth year-over-year when it grew from reaching 12.8% of active monthly pay-TV viewers to 17.4%, according to Adobe Digital Index’s 2015 Digital Video Benchmark Report. Still, 17.4% is a far cry from 70%.
The gap between where TV Everywhere is today and where it could be in the future indicates that there’s one or more points of failure along the consumer’s journey to adoption. Awareness is one of these points of failure. We know this from consumer survey data. For example, a recent survey among adult video streamers by The Diffusion Group (TDG) indicates that TV Everywhere has two kinds of awareness problems:
- Some pay-TV subscribers are completely in the dark about TV Everywhere. TDG found that 18% of adult video streamers (who also subscribe to pay-TV) have never heard of a TV Everywhere app from their home TV provider and 24% have never heard of a TV Everywhere app from a home TV network.
- Other pay-TV subscribers are only partially aware of TV Everywhere and its capabilities. TDG also found that 27–28% of subscribers have heard of, but are not familiar with, TV Everywhere apps. They might know the apps exist, but they don’t know know much about what the apps do or the content that’s available within the apps.
Before these awareness problems can be fully addressed, there’s a number of challenges to overcome. Here’s our take on one of the key challenges and how to respond.
Challenge: Content programmers and pay-TV providers are missing easy opportunities to drive TV Everywhere awareness and promote the capabilities of TV Everywhere apps and sites.
If you start to look closely at every touchpoint that content programmers and pay-TV providers have with current and future subscribers, you’ll begin to notice the frequent absence of the term TV Everywhere. You’ll see benefits messaging such as, “Stream live TV and On Demand anywhere” or “All your entertainment on all your screens” with no mention of TV Everywhere. Similarly, watch just about any TV ad for a TV show, and you’ll see the one call to action is for viewers to tune in at a certain date and time with no mention of the option for viewers to watch the advertised show via TV Everywhere.
The answer: Industry organizations like the Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) can work toward robust co-branding recommendations for TV Everywhere. These recommendations would be responsible for showing content programmers and pay-TV providers how to include TV Everywhere messaging in their most popular subscriber touchpoints.
CTAM already has messaging recommendations for TV Everywhere. These recommendations could be updated to answer a wide range of co-branding questions that content programmers and pay-TV providers may have, such as:
- Is there a way to update my app icon to show that it supports TV Everywhere?
- Is there a way to name (or rename) my app to show that it supports TV Everywhere?
- What are the recommended ways to incorporate the term TV Everywhere into my existing messaging about the availability of my programming across connected devices?
- How should ads driving tune-in be updated with TV Everywhere messaging?
Anyone can suggest answers to these questions, but only an industry organization can gather consensus on which answer to use. If the entire industry can apply the same co-branding recommendations to all TV Everywhere apps and sites, then consumer awareness will surely follow.
There’s more to growing TV Everywhere adoption to 70% than just driving awareness
This is the second 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 this article, I covered TV Everywhere’s awareness problem and offered one possible solution. Yet, awareness isn’t the only roadblock to 70% adoption. In my next two articles, I’m going to look at what needs to happen with content discovery and the sign in experience to drive adoption. I hope you’ll join me.