When I think about the cable companies enabling access to content via apps on tablets/smartphones or “channels” via OTT (over-the-top) devices, I can’t help but see the move as something like this …
“TV Everywhere,” defined as “services that enable cable and network customers to watch TV content on any internet-connected device by authenticating their subscriptions,” is the ability to watch things like HBO or ESPN on your smartphone, tablet, or OTT device (gaming console, Chromecast, etc.).
It’s great in that it allows you to take your content to the screen of your choice. What’s easier than seamlessly going from the HBO Go app on your tablet to Chromecasting to your TV at the touch of a button?
A look at the year over year change in video views by access type (Data from Adobe via eMarketer) shows that TV Everywhere consumption is surging in popularity:
Separate data from The Diffusion Group makes the above trend all the more intriguing. While 2.9% of pay TV subscribers “definitely will cancel” their service in the next six months, a figure that is up year over year from 2.2% in 2013, the percentage of folks who are “moderately likely” or “somewhat likely” to cancel their subscriptions has actually declined year over year from 13.1% to 11.9% (a decline of 14.4% year over year).
Mash up with the surge in TV Everywhere consumption with the decline in considering cutting the cord and you might say that by enabling subscribers greater access to TV content, you’re staving off cutting the cord.
This is great for cable and satellite companies, right?
Maybe. But consider this. HBO Go has somewhere between 5-10MM installs on Google Play. WatchESPN has 10-50MM installs. Comcast XFinity has about half that. Dish Anywhere is the same. Do consumers actually want the firehose of content their Pay TV provides them? Or do they want the premium sports or movie/drama content provided by specific channels?
I’m guessing it’s the latter. If so, I can only imagine the day when the ESPNs and HBOs allow a la carte subscriptions. The cord-cutting trickle might just turn into a flood …