After a year of almost no growth in users, Adobe reports that Q4 2015 saw a strong increase in the number of households logging in to one of the 300 or so TVE apps or websites on a monthly basis. TV Everywhere (TVE) users increased from 12.8% in Q4 2014 to 17.4% in Q4 2015. There was a big quarter-over-quarter increase too, up from 14.3%.
To put this performance in perspective, 58% of people in the US have an SVOD subscription, and virtually all broadband users are watching at least some online video on a monthly basis. Given that TVE is a free benefit of a pay TV subscription and virtually everyone is accustomed to watching online video, it is still surprising that less than a fifth of pay TV subscribers use TVE video sites.
That said, those that are using TVE seem to be using it a lot. Adobe says it saw 3.6 billion TVE authentications from October to December in 2015. Adobe also says there were just over 17 million active TVE households in the period. Since there are 2.5 people per household, that equates to roughly one authentication per person per day in an active TVE household. This seems to lend weight to Adobe’s data showing that authenticated video viewing continues to grow. The company says viewing has doubled year-over-year.
Another notable fact from the Adobe data is the shift toward TV connected devices, like game consoles and streaming media players. Adobe saw the share of authentications to the devices increase from 16% in Q4 2014 to 21% in q4 2015. There has been a similar shift in the UK, where BBC iPlayer online TV starts going to TV devices have increased from 10.5% in August 2014 to 15.4% one year later.
This trend might at first appear somewhat surprising, since all the content available through TVE is also available on operator set-top boxes. However, the shift is likely driven by two co-dependent factors. Consumers are watching more content on-demand, and much of that content is available through authenticated programmer apps running on TV connected devices. Consumers are general watching more online through SVOD services, and it’s simply more convenient to switch to the programmer app rather than switch inputs back to the operator set-top box.
Among streaming media players, Roku seems to be growing in favor from TVE uses. The device increased its share of connected device authentications from 7% in 2014 to 8% in 2015. Apple TV, on the other hand, lost share from 13% to 10%. Game consoles remain thinly used (2% of authentications) despite the fact that nearly half of US homes have one. Smart TVs seem to be mostly ignored by TVE users, as Adobe reports the devices had no share of authentications at all!
It seems TVE users are consuming all content types through TVE apps and websites. Over the last year broadcast and cable content enjoyed 111% growth, and movie consumption increased 89%. Sports grew by 80% and teens and toons consumption was up 61%. Sports viewing tends to rise and fall based on the particular events occurring at the time. Movie consumption appears to be driven by promotions. In the fall of 2015 there were several big premium movie channel promotions. This led to a big spike in usage through TVE.
Why it matters
TV Everywhere made little progress for most of 2015. Q4 saw a sizeable increase in users.
However, less than 1 in 5 pay TV subscribers use the free service.
TV connected devices are becoming very important to TVE users, despite the fact that most of the content is already available on TV through operator set-top boxes.