TV Everywhere popularity grows among pay TV subscribers, says ABI Research

Close to one in three U.S. households that subscribe to telco TV are expected to access multiscreen or TV Everywhere services by the end of 2013, according to ABI Research’s OTT and Multi-screen Services Research Service.

Of these multiscreen and TV Everywhere experiences, the vast majority will be by consumers using advanced interactive features, such as remote programming of a DVR.

ABI Research finds that cable TV providers are close behind due to their early lead, but the growth rate for these services is slower because of the greater diversity of cable households and services. Not all service providers currently offer TV Everywhere.

“In the multiscreen and OTT space, the MVPDs are moving at a relatively fast pace — rapid enough that in some instances the platforms have outpaced consumer awareness,” said practice director Sam Rosen.

Direct-to-home satellite TV providers lag farther still due to slower starts and lack of in-house broadband services. However, there is movement in this arena with some novel experiences like Dish’s Sling place-shifting technology.

“The market is still developing with many of the early growing pains, like authentication, finally starting to take a back seat to the content,” said senior analyst Michael Inouye.

“In many respects the technology is in place to increasingly offer wider reaching TVE services. Securing the rights to broader content distribution is the primary remaining hurdle, but once standard metrics are developed the content floodgates are expected to open wider.”

ABI Research finds that consumer education about TV Everywhere services, especially help navigating content availability, is in need of attention.

“Beyond consumer education a great deal of work remains to best optimize the user experience, one that satisfies consumers’ increasing penchant for on-demand content but also ensures the content is adequately monetized," said Rosen. "This objective is creating new opportunities for a wide range of companies within the greater content value chain.”

Following the computer, the Apple iPad is the most supported TV Everywhere device in use in the United States. Both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets are responsible for the largest portion of TV Everywhere support, even exceeding game console support for the TV Everywhere experience, ABI Research said.