TV Everywhere trends represented a mixed bag in the third quarter of 2015 as consumption among existing users skyrocketed while the adoption rate of authenticated services from programmers and MVPDs showed signs of stalling.
While consumption among TV users surged 102% on a year-over-year basis and 37% versus Q2 2015, broader adoption inched up just 8% year-on-year, according to Adobe Digital Index’s Q3 Digital Video Benchmark, which based its findings on 134 billion online video views, 3.6 billion TVE authentications across pay TV providers covering 99% of pay TV homes in the U.S. and Canada, and analyzed TVE content from 159 TV channels and more than 300 TVE sites and apps.
Per ADI, fewer than 1 in seven pay TV homes (13.6%) used TVE sites and apps in Q3 2015, compared to 12.6% in the year-ago quarter, and 12.8% in Q2 2015.
Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst for Adobe Digital Index, said the rising consumption rates indicate that the quality of the pay TV industry’s TVE product is good and offers a solid array of content (for example, consumption rates in 2015 grew without the benefit of a major tent-pole sports event like the Olympics), but remains challenged by ongoing awareness and authentication issues.
Among other key trends, ADI found that 23% of TVE authentications are happening on a connected TV device, up 130% year-over-year. Apple TV and Roku combined to represent 87% of the TVE share in the connected TV device segment. The Google Chromecast is not detectible in ADI’s data set because, in that scenario, content is thrown to the big screen from a mobile device.
But that overall rise in the connected TV category shows that “TV in the living room is now back in action,” Gaffney said.
Per ADI, here’s how the share of TVE authentications by device type in Q3 2015 stacked up:
-Apple TV (13%)
-Gaming console (2%)
-Amazon Fire TV (1%)
-Smart TVs (less than 1%)
While the Apple TV was in the cat bird’s seat in the TV-connected category as smart TVs barely registered, it appears to be cannibalizing its own device ecosystem at the expense of the iPad and the iPhone, ADI found, as iOS’s share of viewing dropped 25% year-on-year to 42%, versus 56% in Q3 2014. Browser-based viewing also declined to 16%, compared to 21% in the year-ago quarter.
Additionally, smartphones replaced tablets as the preferred mobile viewing device. Viewing of non-authenticated online video on smartphones rose 33% while tablet viewing declined 7%. ADI attributed that in part to slowing tablet sales and new smartphone models that sport larger screens.
While iOS video trends declined in Q3, the Android-powered mobile platform is seeing some significant traction, particularly “teens and toons” product category, which accounted for 75% of total TVE plays in the period. Overall, youth-oriented programming is the most viewed content genre, with Android devices nabbing twice the viewing rate of iOS.
ADI doesn’t track demographic data, but Gaffney’s theory on this trend is that Apple tablets are facing cost of entry and cost of replacement barriers, holding that parents are less likely to provide their children with a $700 iPad than they are to provide them with a relatively inexpensive Android tablet.