January 24, 2013
According to a new study from research firm GfK Media, consumers are streaming online video more than ever before, but only a reported 17 percent of pay TV subscribers have watched cable programming online using TV Everywhere services. The study represents the “latest bad news” for the TV Everywhere initiative, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The initiative launched four years ago, but “has been plagued by delays in launch as a result of difficult rights negotiations between various entertainment companies and pay TV operators — cable, satellite and phone companies,” according to the article.
Here’s how it’s supposed to work: pay TV subscribers sign in using their TV providers’ credentials to access shows online. The services then “let people watch on-demand programs, and in some cases live TV channels, on personal computers as well as mobile devices like iPads and smartphones inside the home. In a few cases the content is available outside the home,” explains the Wall Street Journal.
TV Everywhere was pushed through by Time Warner and Comcast as a response to cord cutting. However, content availability has so far been limited.
Additionally, customers have direct relationships with channels (not just the providers of those channels) for the first time. For example, Time Warner’s HBO and CNN have their own apps and websites with programming content available to customers.
“So far,” continues WSJ, “in the battle for online eyeballs, the programmers appear to have the edge. The GfK study shows that 37 percent of folks who have ever viewed TV online watched the content through a TV network’s app or website, while only 30 percent of those surveyed reported watching through a cable operator or other distributor’s online portals.”
“But cable executives believe eventually customers will choose their portals so they can find everything in one place — without sifting through a number of apps,” explains the article.