Consumers think pay-TV providers have a lot to gain from making “TV-everywhere” services easier to use, and providers think so too, panelists said today at The Business of Multiplatform TV, part of NYC Television Week.
Hub Entertainment Research surveys show mobile devices like tablets are increasingly used in the home, and that consumers are much more likely to think their pay-TV provider is a good or excellent value (58% vs. 48%) if they know they can also watch their TV on a mobile device. So said Jon Giegengack, the Hub Research founder. Hub has been doing research for the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing’s TV-everywhere awareness and best-practices initiative.
Surveys show the things consumers don’t like about TV everywhere – the mobile-device extensions of programming available to eligible pay-TV customers – are all “low-hanging fruit” to fix, Giegengack said. They feel it takes too long to get to the content, they can’t remember the password or they don’t have the user information handy.
And on a scale of 1 to 10, they give a 5.8 to the notion that verified content services benefit the provider more than the consumer. By comparison, Netflix got a 4.5, meaning consumers think they benefit more by the online access than Netflix does, the Hub studies show.
The biggest things that would make TV everywhere better are only having to enter your information once and have it remembered (46%) and only having to enter a minimal amount of information (43%).
Big events drive TV-everywhere usage. Comcast put the NBC Olympics app on the Xfinity set-top during the Winter Games in Sochi, and it was a big success, Comcast senior director of TV everywhere content and product strategy Vito Forlenza said. Univision Communications used the FIFA World Cup in Brazil to drive usage of TV everywhere, Greg Weinstein, vice president of audience development said. “It was a tremendous success for us, tremendous learning curve,” he said. Univision has been maintaining the momentum by promoting TV-everywhere views of Mexican soccer league games after the World Cup, and has seen 200% increases in streams and unique viewers, he said.
Keep the terminology simple. Comcast has gone through its TV-everywhere materials and eradicated use of the word “authenticate,” and instead emphasized “sign-in,” which is something people are comfortable with for other online services, Forlenza said.
Sharing data would help. Weinstein said Univision, via Adobe, has a good feel for how many people sign in and whether or not they access content once they are handed over to the pay-TV distributor’s systems. But Univision doesn’t know what happens to them in between.
Speak the languages. Univision customers gravitate toward Spanish-language educational materials regarding TV everywhere, and it would be helpful if cable providers were able to provide help in areas such as retrieving lost passwords in languages other than English.