Five years later, TV everywhere fails to take off

Michelle Clancy | 05-12-2013

It's been nearly five years since Comcast and Time Warner first introduced the TV everywhere (TVE) initiative, yet only 6% of adult Internet users in the US are viewing online video from a pay-TV operator's website.

MRG Research has identified target TVE users to be those individuals that are both frequent viewers of DVR recorded TV content and frequent users of online catch-up TV services. That being said, there is a huge potential base of users in the US today that meet those criteria. But advertising alone will not convince consumers to adopt TVE.

"Pay-TV operators have invested many millions to build the network infrastructure and acquire content licences to support the online viewing of live and on-demand TV programming on PCs, tablets and smartphones," noted MRG. "They have launched commercial TVE services, such as Comcast's Xfinity Online, DirecTV Everywhere and AT&T U-verse Online. Yet, TV everywhere has been criticised for poor consumer awareness, being confusing and lacking content. "

Despite all the disappointments, there is reason to believe that the fortunes of TV everywhere services could be changing, the firm said. TVE services should be integrated with the multi-functional pay-TV companion apps that many service providers are launching. For example, the Cox Contour iPad app supports live and on-demand TV viewing on a tablet, as well as access to VOD, TV navigation, electronic programme guides, personalised TV recommendations and DVR control/playback.

"The pay-TV operator's objective should be to dominate the user-interface to the next-generation TV experience," the firm said. "In doing so, TVE adoption will follow."