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The US’s Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) is to roll out what it describes as “robust” first-tier tactics to increase the subscription television value proposition by accelerating consumer awareness, product understanding, and usage of tv everywhere (tve). Incubated through a collaboration of 20 member companies, the tactics include a series of user experience best practice recommendations, adoption of an official category moniker, and a plan for benchmarking members’ progress toward aggressive year-end goals.
“Our members are delivering the highest quality digital video product in the marketplace, across multiple devices and platforms, in and out of the home, and offered at no additional cost to customers,” said John Lansing, president and CEO, CTAM. “We’re committed to leading the industry to successfully communicate the value of tv everywhere to consumers, as we collectively build this essential business category.”
A team of User Experience (UX) experts from cable companies and content providers are collaborating under CTAM’s guidance to define the elements of a simple, viewer-friendly experience. The first phase of recommendations, released this month, focus on decreasing friction in the customer ‘Sign In’ process, keeping the viewer connected to content, and reinforcing the message that tv everywhere is a value-add for the cable customer.
CTAM’s goal is to have 75 per cent of member companies in the space adopt the phase one recommendations by year-end. Phase two of the ‘Sign In’ UX recommendations are currently in development, and focus on the more complex challenges of customer verification and support.
CTAM says that determining an official category name, which best described the experience of verified customers viewing content across multiple devices, was a critical first step towards positioning a national consumer awareness campaign. By the end of a multi-layered naming process, including both qualitative and quantitative consumer research into several options, ‘tv everywhere’ met all of the established strategic priorities.
Consumers revealed a strong affinity with the term, associating it with convenience and control of viewing, at home and on-the-go. In addition, members were comfortable that the name could live comfortably over existing names in the marketplace, such as the ‘Go’ and ‘Watch’ brands.
Ultimately, the project Steering Committee and CTAM Executive Committee unanimously endorsed adoption of tv everywhere as the category signature, with a planned evolution to the shortened tve, as captured in the marks developed by Periscope. The year-end goal is for 75 per cent of member companies in the space to support national communications and marketing designed to educate consumers about the tve opportunity.
CTAM intends to keep the project on full-throttle and members engaged by providing a continuous flow of benchmarking data and consumer research. Made possible through a partnership with Adobe Primetime, CTAM says it will deliver a rich source of aggregated and anonymised user data, including total views and frequency of use. In addition, CTAM has commissioned ‘hub Research’ to deliver biannual tracking of reported consumer awareness and usage.
“We’ve set high success standards for this critical CTAM initiative, with year-end goals of 50 per cent awareness of tv everywhere among cable customers, and 50 per cent usage by those aware,” said Gemma Toner, senior vice president, business insights and strategy, Cablevision Systems, and CTAM chairwoman. “Our members are wholly committed to making tve a best-in-class viewing experience that enhances consumer perception of cable.”