At the very least, TV Everywhere needs a major image overhaul. At the worst, it’s a bust.
Despite being available to more than 90% of U.S. pay-TV households, another report is saying monthly usage is abysmal, with fewer than 20% of pay-TV subscribers using TVE on a monthly basis… way fewer.
Researcher GfK said the best performance is from TV network websites, which see monthly usage of 16%, up from 13% three years ago. Next best is TV network smart TV apps, which also hit a monthly use high of 16%.
Operators didn’t fare any better, with the top access point being a service provider’s smart TV app at 15%.
The biggest worry, of course, is that after four – or more – years of availability, only 25% of consumers 13- to 64-year-old say they’ve ever even heard of TV Everywhere… the same amount as in 2012.
If there is a silver lining to the cloud, it’s that younger viewers use the service more often, GfK said.
Nearly one-quarter of Gen Y (13- to 35-year-olds) users report using a TV Network’s Smart TV app once a month or more, compared to 18% of Gen Y (36- to 49-year-olds) and 7% of Boomers (50- to 64-year-olds). Operators fared about the same with their smart TV apps.
Mobile apps from both networks and service providers fared less well, although they showed more growth than other TVE access methods.
Twenty-one percent of Gen Y viewers accessed mobile apps from broadcast networks monthly, trailed by Gen Y (14%) and Boomers (7%). Some 19% of Gen Y viewers used pay-TV operators’ mobile apps monthly, followed by Gen X (11%) and Boomers (6%).
Not surprisingly, GfK found that one of the historical bugaboos – authentication – remained a hurdle for most users, discouraging some potential adopters. In fact, 60% said logging in with a password would dissuade them from using TVE. Half, in fact, said finding their pay TV password would be difficult.
David Tice, SVP in Media and Entertainment at GfK, suggested that “awareness and understanding of the services” could drive higher adoption.
That, in turn, could help keep operators from becoming “dumb” broadband pipes.
TV Everywhere, at its inception, was intended to build customer loyalty, appeal to younger users and to reduce churn.
For the most part, that’s just not happened.
For Millennials, subscription video-on-demand services have held sway, offering easier sign up and cancellation, convenience and simplicity. For TV Everywhere to get anywhere, it’s going to have to do the same thing… and that’s a long shot.
It's made even longer because operators have been slow to commit marketing dollars to their TVE services. Just 4% of participants in the GfK study recognized the TV Everywhere logo... yes, there is one, who knew?
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