Findings from research firm GfK among pay-TV households reveal that their awareness and use of free TV Everywhere (TVE) capabilities from television networks is higher than for similar capabilities that are built into most pay-TV subscription packages.
For the new study, TV Everywhere 2012: A How People Use Media Report, GfK screened 1,275 people (ages 13 to 64) having pay-TV service in their households; of these, 1,008 people identified as pay-TV subscribers answered the full TV Everywhere survey.
Two thirds (64%) of consumers in pay-TV homes say they are aware of TVE services from TV networks, and 37 per cent have ever used those services, via standard or mobile websites or apps. This compares to 52 per cent awareness for similar capabilities from pay-TV companies, and 30 per cent use.
According to GfK, mobile platforms represent a significant part of the TVE phenomenon. Three in ten (30%) pay-TV respondents reported using a TV network’s mobile website to access TVE features, and 34 per cent have used a network app. For pay-TV services, mobile TVE use was lower – 25 per cent for mobile websites, and 26 per cent for apps.
The findings suggest that authentication – in which users are asked to provide a username and password to gain access to TVE features – poses a substantial challenge for many users. Seven in ten (70%) TVE users would be at least somewhat deterred from using TVE if they needed to provide authentication, and 25 per cent said they would be deterred “a lot”. Older respondents (50 to 64) are especially likely to say that authentication would be a deal breaker for TVE use.
“Co-operation, rather than competition, among TVE stakeholders will benefit not just consumers, but the growth of the business as a whole,” said David Tice, Senior Vice President of Media at GfK. “Standardising and simplifying the authentication process across providers, and using a standard term or logo with consistency – whether it’s ‘TV Everywhere’ or something else – will help customers know what they are using and erase the barriers to greater use and demand,” he advised.