Keep ‘TV Everywhere’ Simple

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NEW YORK — TV Everywhere still can’t be called an unqualified success, but consistency of user experience should be one metric to measure it, according to panelists at the “TV in a Multiplatform World” event.

“The ease with which a consumer can discover, fulfill the content they’re looking for, should be our success metric,” said Ian Greenblatt, director of content strategy and business development at Arris. “If we provide them with a consistent experience that’s easy to use, that means we did it right.”

Greenblatt spoke during a roundtable about the Business of TV Everywhere moderated by B&C executive editor Dade Hayes. But not all panelists agreed about what constitutes a simple user interface.

“Simple is a matter of perspective,” said Sefy Ariely, executive vice president of Americas, Viaccess-Orca. “What is simple to a 17-year-old is different to other demographics.” He argued that the power of TV Everywhere lies in leveraging its personalization.

“There needs to be the freedom for the user to engage with content as deeply or shallowly as they like,” he said. “Because the video market has become so competitive, operators sometimes miss that there needs to be a reason for consumers to come back to that store instead of five others. That’s something that we’re not always grasping.”

Ed Huguez, president of affiliate distribution at Starz, said that building awareness is another measure of success, and TV Everywhere is still in its infancy. Other panelists took a more skeptical approach. Stefane France, international operations director, content division at Orange-France Telecom, urged perspective. “One important point is to not overestimate TV Everywhere,” he said, saying that TV viewing on mobile is only 1.5 hours a month in France.

Consumers now expect to be able to watch their content whenever and wherever they want to, regardless of whether it supports a company’s bottom line, said Kelly Delany, vice president of marketing at Deluxe Digital Distribution.

“You have to create the type of experiences and stickiness so that they will go to portal X, and not try to restrict their viewership because it supports ad revenue,” she said.

Andrea Morabito is programming editor of Broadcasting & Cable.

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