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TV Everywhere (TVE) could entice more millennials to subscribe to pay television services if awareness of the opportunity to watch movies and TV shows on multiple devices grows, according to a new annual survey of multiplatform video viewing trends released by strategy consulting firm Altman Vilandrie & Company and premium entertainment network EPIX.
While the percentage of occupied US. TV households without pay TV service—now about 17 per cent—is continuing to increase, millennials (ages 18-34) are significantly less likely to subscribe (72 per cent) than consumers over 35 (86 per cent). Millennial consumers represent just 20 per cent of pay TV subscribers but make up 37 per cent of consumers who have either dropped their multichannel video subscription (‘cord-cutters’) or eschew pay TV altogether (‘cord-nevers’).
However, the survey data reveals that TVE could help curb cord-cutting, as younger millennials (18-24 year-old subscribers) are 23 per cent less likely to explore TV alternatives or to switch providers if they know their video provider offers TVE than if they think the service is not available. For subscribers unaware that their provider offers TVE, more than half (55 per cent) of young millennials and 48 per cent of older millennials (25-34 year-olds) say they would use TVE at least once a month if their provider offered it. Additionally, a majority (54 per cent) of young millennials and 47 per cent of older millennials who do not have multichannel video service agree that they would be more likely to consider subscribing to pay TV if they could watch content on devices other than their TVs.
Consumer awareness of the ability to watch programmes on devices other than a TV, typically through apps provided free to subscribers, remains persistently low at 36 per cent, with little difference among pay TV subscribers by age. For 18-24 year-old subscribers aware of TVE, 7 in 10 say they use the service monthly — more than the 57 per cent of older millennials and well above the 43 per cent of all multichannel video subscribers aware of TV Everywhere.
“Young viewers tend to be mobile device viewers and the survey shows that the best way for pay-TV operators to capture and retain those consumers is through TV Everywhere,” said Jonathan Hurd, the Altman Vilandrie & Company director who led the survey. “However, providers need to do a much better job of promoting TV Everywhere and driving its usage or risk continued erosion of subscribers, especially millennials.”
The study also finds that subscribers to EPIX, which is available on hundreds of mobile and connected devices, are significantly more aware of TVE offerings at 61 per cent (70 per cent higher than the national average). These viewers also confirm the trend: Those aware of TVE are more likely (81 per cent vs. 72 per cent) to say that they will definitely or probably not discontinue their multichannel video service over the next six months than subscribers unaware of TVE.
“From the beginning, TV Everywhere has been a core pillar of our business, knowing consumers want to watch content when they want, where they want and how they want,” said Mark Greenberg, president and CEO of EPIX. “We’re excited that the findings of this study highlight how important TVE offerings are to the pay-TV landscape in maintaining subscribers and growing viewership.”
The survey also found that video viewing on mobile devices is particularly high among millennials. Almost half (46 per cent) of millennials report using their smartphones and/or tablets to watch movies or TV shows at least weekly compared to 38 per cent of all mobile device owners.
Other findings from the survey include:
Multichannel video subscribers aware of TVE are much more likely to use their provider’s on-demand service weekly to watch movies (32 per cent vs. 20 per cent) and TV shows (44 per cent vs. 27 per cent) than those who are unaware
Among all weekly TVE users, millennials are at least twice as likely as consumers over 35 to use TVE to view movies (38 per cent vs. 16 per cent), live TV shows (30 per cent vs. 15 per cent) pre-recorded TV shows (33 per cent vs. 15 per cent) and live sports (31 per cent vs. 12 per cent)
When asked why they subscribe to pay TV, consumers aware that their provider offers TVE are much more likely to identify the choice and convenience provided by TVE as a reason to subscribe, including:
I can watch it according to my own timetable, whenever I want (#1 reason)
I can watch on devices other than my TV
I can watch it away from home (e.g. laptop, mobile phone, tablet).