What do cable companies detest most – cord cutters? But today they seem more worried with the growing population of digital natives who had cable in their parents home but are themselves no cord subscribers – the “un-corded generation” who are bypassing cable and relying on commercial and free OTTsources, torrents, antenna feeds and TV network websites to meet their content requirements.
TV Everywhere – Bait or Bullet
Last quarter Q2 numbers for video subscription across all major cable and satellite providers in US draws a grim picture weather it’s earnings or net subscriber additions, while the OTT bandwagon growth seems to be on steroids (Netflix, HuluPlus, Amazon VOD etc.). A recent report from Park Associates highlights that that 13% of consumers who have broadband connections have made cutbacks within the last 12 months and 22% of all broadband households are now using Netflix watch instantly services. Interestingly the wealthier and more educated consumers are more likely to cut the cord in want of further control over content and better value for money.
Cable industry had long anticipated the trend, its glaring absence in online distribution and rapid growth of OTT providers; and their response was the magic formula christened “TV Everywhere
”. Announced in 2009 by two leading MSOs (Time Warner and Comcast) TVE
is the next big revolution to bring service providers online content services through OTT. TV Everywhere platform is an attempt to make broadcast and cable programming available online from service provider and partner network portals, on-demand on any device (mobile and connected devices) through an authentication mechanism by validating cable subscription credentials. Whereas most service providers do not plan to charge additional fees yet, it remains an ad supported distribution model protecting the content within provider’s walled garden.
TV Everywhere: Adoption
Today most major TV service provider are in an overdrive to bring advanced set top boxes (hybrid boxes supporting QAM and IP) and introduce TV Everywhere services through content portals and partner networks, bringing anywhere, anytime, any device content portability for its subscribers. Comcast, Dish, DirecTV, TWC, Verizon and AT&T are some of the early movers who have introduced TVE services or are in advanced stages of launch. TV Everywhere is the foray of TV service providers (cable, satellite, IPTV) and pay TV industry to expand beyond the traditional TV screen and regain the lost ground through higher subscription, stronger subscriber connect and increased revenue potential from additional advertising opportunities.
TV Everywhere: Outlook
While a growing sentiment brands TV Everywhere as cartelization among TV networks and service providers, TV industry perceives it as the major catalyst for expansion in online delivery channels and a significant avenue for future growth. TV Everywhere promises some great offerings for all key stakeholders and consumers although it is still early to conclude if it meets its charted objectives or leads to more widespread piracy, fragmentation and subscriber alienation!