On Demand Summit 2016: Ease of Use, Mobility Key to TV Everywhere Message

As usage increases, simple messages gain in importance, panel says
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New York – TV Everywhere may be gaining traction with consumers, but marketers need to continue to hammer home the message that the service is easy to use and delivers content when they want it, according to a panel session at the Multichannel News/B&C On Demand Summit here Thursday.

About half of pay TV customers are aware of TV Everywhere as a product offered by their TV service provider, and 36% say they feel it is an important part of their offering. But many consumers still struggle with how to use the service and still more are unaware they can access TV Everywhere at no additional charge, the panel said.

That’s where the marketing message comes in. To help combat ease of use fears, at NBC Universal Content Distribution, vice president of consumer marketing, TV Everywhere Alexa Wilson said her unit developed marketing spots for specific networks that showed how simple it was to access content with a user name and password.

“We are making sure we are delivering all the things we promised to consumer,” Wilson said, adding that the word has changed “exponentially” as usage has migrated from desktop computers to tablets and mobile devices.

That shift has also driven a big increase in TV Everywhere adoption she added. At NBCU, Wilson said video streaming is up about 55% across all its networks.

“And it’s going to continue to grow as people find those platforms,” Wilson said.

The type of content also drives the message, she said, adding that for news and sports, the message is all about live streaming while for entertainment channels, video-on-demand is what customers want to know about.

The medium is the message especially for younger-skewing networks, and Viacom vice president of marketing Andrew Borak said that is no truer than at MTV. Borak noted that while linear ratings were down recently for MTV’s Video Music Awards, live streaming activity increased by almost 500% during the program.

Borak said Viacom identified key barriers to TV Everywhere usage and targeted its marketing message to them, like the perceived complexity of signing into the service and made that an integral part of the message. Viacom’s approach, he said, is to look at the entire customer journey, from when they first hear about its apps to what they can do once their inside the app.

Wilson said connected devices are a huge area for growth for TV Everywhere, citing recent Adobe research that said time spent watching TV on connected devices is up 150% this year. And with a proliferation of devices like Roku boxes, Apple TV’s and Amazon Fire sticks already in homes, that number is expected to grow.  

At Viacom, Borak said the programmer is seeing its largest growth on connected devices, adding that it also represents their most engaged and active viewers.

Wilson agreed, adding that specific audiences and channels are more likely to attract a large connected audience. The Syfy channel, for example, has the highest authentication rates among NBCU’s 14 networks.

“There’s a real natural connection there,” she said.

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