TV Everywhere

Study: 43% of Pay TV Subs Have Used 'TV Everywhere' Services

Authentication, Awareness Remain Big Stumbling Blocks for Consumers, GfK Survey Finds 1/18/2013 10:26 AM Eastern

Nearly half of Americans with subscription TV service have used “TV Everywhere,” but awareness of the concept continues to lag, with only 22% of them saying they’ve ever heard of the term, according to a recent survey by GfK’s media research division.

Overall, 43% of consumers in pay TV homes used either their provider (30%), a TV network (37%) or both to access TV Everywhere-style websites or apps -- both free and authenticated -- GfK found. Just 17% of those in pay TV households said they have used such a TV Everywhere service and were asked for authentication.

But just one-fifth knew what “TV Everywhere” meant, and only 34% were aware of the term “authentication,” according to the survey. About two-thirds (64%) of consumers in pay TV homes say they are aware of TVE services from TV networks, versus 52% of those aware of similar capabilities from their pay TV providers.

Moreover, seven out of 10 said the process of authentication would deter them from using a TV Everywhere service: 45% said they would be deterred “a little” and 25% said they would be deterred “a lot.”

Of those who haven’t used TV Everywhere, 84% said they didn’t know their username and password login information without looking it up, according to GfK’s survey.

“Authentication should be standardized,” the firm said in its analysis of the results. “First and foremost is finding a better term/name for this action… We saw cable operators work together to standardize marketplace terms for VOD service; this should be regarded as a similar situation.” The research firm recommended a "unifying subtitle or logo (think 'Intel Inside')" for TVE services to help set consumer expectations.

One of the challenges in establishing a coordinated, industrywide TV Everywhere branding effort is that it could run afoul of antitrust regulations, according to industry executives. Also, individual operators and networks want to promote their own services (like Comcast's Xfinity.tv and HBO Go) as competitive differentiators.

Among respondents who use TVE, 65% said the services had no effect on whether they keep their current provider and 25% said it made them more likely to stay with their provider, according to the GfK survey. The remaining 10% claimed TV Everywhere services made them less likely to stick with their current provider.

In addition, 66% of TV Everywhere users said that usage was additive to their regular TV viewing, with just 14% saying authenticated content was replacing TV time.

GfK noted that awareness of the term “TV Everywhere” was the same across cable, satellite and telco TV subscribers. Awareness is driven mainly through TV advertising, with online ads and bill inserts contributing “at much lower levels.”

With respect to “authentication,” GfK found awareness of this term higher among those in telco TV homes (56%) relative to cable (32%) or satellite (28%) homes.

In terms of monthly usage, 28% of respondents said they use networks' TVE websites and 16% use networks' mobile apps. According to the survey, 18% use a pay TV provider's TV Everywhere website monthly and 12% use mobile apps.

The online survey sample comprised 1,008 people 13 to 64 who lived in a household with pay TV service. GfK fielded the study in September and October 2012. According to a GfK rep, the study was not sponsored. The research firm is selling the full report for $6,000, while an executive summary is $750.

September