nScreenMedia OTT multiscreen media analysis

Is TV Everywhere strengthening the TV business model?

CTAM TVE usage data

Infographics can be great tools to get a point across quickly, but they can sometimes leave the reader with a distorted perspective of what’s actually going on. Case in point, a recent infographic from CTAM extolling the virtues of TV Everywhere as strengthening the TV business model.

One of the big marketing efforts of pay TV operators over the last 12 months has been to drive TV Everywhere usage among subscribers. This, it is hoped, will help keep existing subscribers in the fold, and may recapture recent defectors. CTAM thinks things are heading in the right direction, and produced an infographic to prove it. However, a closer look at the data paints a different story.

Here are three of the key data points CTAM used, with an alternative view of the data.

242% increase in authenticated ad views

The Good News: those using TV Everywhere are watching for longer. The data CTAM is using is drawn from Freewheel’s Q3 2015 Video Monetization Report (page 21), and it does show a 242% increase in authenticated ad views between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015.

TV Everywhere penetration growthThe Bad News: this should not be taken to mean that there has been a big increase in the number of users. Adobe reports that the number of pay TV subscribers using TV Everywhere has barely grown over the last year. Active TVE users increased just 1% between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015, to 13.6%. CTAM does quote a monthly increase in users from 34% to 44%, though it doesn’t reveal the month involved and doesn’t show performance over and entire year.

56% subscribers cite more value for money from service provider

The Good News: the number of subscribers saying they see better value from their operator increased in Q3 2015. Digitalsmiths, in its Q3 2015 Video Trends Report, confirms the CTAM original data. It also found a year-over-year increase in the number of people saying they were very satisfied with the level of value they receive from their pay TV provider. It rose from 19.9% in Q3 2014 to 21.1% in Q3 2015.

likelihood to recommend video serviceThe Bad News: Digitalsmiths also says the number of people saying they were unsatisfied with the value of the pay TV subscription increased more than those very satisfied, from 21.5% to 24%. What’s more, in terms of satisfaction, pay TV is losing handily to SVOD. Ericsson asked US pay TV subscribers if they would recommend their service to a friend. 50% of SVOD subscribers said they would, and 14% said they would not for a net promoter score of 36%. Just 38% of pay TV subscribers said they would recommend their services, and 27% said they would not for net promoter score of 10%.

Increased usage intent among non-users – 11% to 27%

The Good News: more people are aware that operators allow subscribers to access some of the content they pay for online. Again, Digitalsmiths data confirms the trend. The company found that in Q3 2014 41.6% of people were aware their operator allowed them access TV and movies on devices such as smartphones and tablets. That increased to 43.1% in Q3 2015.

The Bad News: Most of the pay TV subscribers that do not use TV Everywhere are already watching online video. Back in 2014, nScreenMedia found that number of people in the US that said they watched online video actually exceeded the number saying they watched TV. As well, digital video consumption has been increasing at nearly 40% per year for the last several years, with mobile virtually doubling in the last year. Could be that those not using TVE today already have all the online video choices they need!

Why it matters

The pay TV industry wants to paint a very rosy picture of how TV Everywhere is being embraced by subscribers.

The truth is more complex than that.

Despite CTAM’s claims, it is still not clear how valuable TVE is as a tool for strengthening the TV business model.

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