Over the nearly five years that have passed since Comcast and Time Warner first introduced the TV Everywhere (TVE) initiative, pay-TV operators have invested many millions to build the network infrastructure and acquire content licences to support the online viewing of live and on-demand TV programming on PCs, tablets and smartphones. They have launched commercial TVE services, such as Comcast’s Xfinity Online, DirecTV Everywhere and AT&T U-verse Online. Yet, only 6 per cent of adult Internet users in the US view online video from a pay-TV operator’s website. TV Everywhere has been criticised for poor consumer awareness, being confusing, and lacking content. Despite all the disappointments there is reason to believe that the fortunes of TV Everywhere services could be changing.
A report from Research and Markets has identified target TVE users to be those individuals that are both frequent viewers of DVR recorded TV content, as well as frequent users of online catch-up TV services. That being said, there is a huge potential base of users in the US today that meet those criteria.
Additionally, advertising alone will not convince consumers to adopt TVE. Rather, TVE services should be integrated with the multi-functional pay-TV companion apps that many service providers are launching. For example, the Cox Contour iPad app supports live and on-demand TV viewing on a tablet, as well as access to VoD, TV navigation, electronic program guides, personalised TV recommendations and DVR control/playback. The pay-TV operator’s objective should be to dominate the user-interface to the next-generation TV experience. In doing so, TVE adoption will follow.