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Although both paid TV subscribers and cord-cutters are streaming online video content on a regular basis, TV Everywhere—services that enable cable and network customers to watch TV content on any internet-connected device by authenticating their subscriptions—lacks both traction and consumer awareness.
According to a TV Everywhere (TVE) study from October by GfK, paying TV customers are more aware of the TVE services from networks like HBO than they are of the TVE services offered by pay TV companies—typically cable providers like Comcast or Time Warner. Only 37% of customers used TVE services from TV networks, and only 30% used them from pay TV companies.
On mobile, usage of TVE is slightly more common through mobile apps vs. mobile websites. In addition, more survey respondents said they used TVE apps and mobile sites from pay TV companies than they did from TV networks.
Given that TVE awareness on mobile is reversed, with pay TV companies’ services more widely known than TV networks’, it’s possible that TV networks have put more marketing dollars in support of their TVE programs overall (like HBO GO, for instance) while cable TV companies have focused on driving awareness of mobile programs specifically.
While it is unlikely that TV Everywhere services will bring cord-cutters and internet streamers back into the TV subscription model, the services may help keep more paying TV subscribers satisfied—especially those who have begun streaming TV content online—and slow the transition to cord-cutting.
Cable or satellite TV is still the dominant method of TV viewing, at 79% of internet users, according to June data from Interpret. However, streaming through various internet channels is not far behind. Over half of respondents streamed via a PC, nearly half streamed through an internet-connected device, and 29% streamed through a mobile device. The growing popularity of watching TV through these channels shows that consumers are no longer married to the traditional TV set.
Although most TVE services are free to most paying cable customers at this time, it’s possible that cable companies and networks will want to monetize these features—especially should uptake increase dramatically. In order to stay relevant among mobile device-toting content streamers, TVE providers will have to give consumers something of value that’s competitive with the free or low-cost internet-based services they are already accustomed to.
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