So-called TV Everywhere services -- which were supposed to be the coordinated response of pay TV operators like Comcast, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV to threatening over-the-top TV/video services like Netflix and Hulu -- are suffering from a lack of visibility, according to Parks Associates’ Brett Sappington.
In a column for Fierce Online Video, Sappington reveals that only one-fourth or fewer subscribers to most of the big pay TV operators are even aware of the TV Everywhere services that are available to them.
“This lack of subscriber awareness negates the efficacy of TV Everywhere as a tool to combat OTT services and underscores the marketing challenges for providers going forward,” Sappington writes.
“TV Everywhere” services refer to the delivery of TV content, including live and on-demand programming, from a pay-TV provider to any Web-connected device. These services are often authenticated, meaning that subscribers must log in using their pay TV account information to gain access to the TV content these services offer.
Sappington also reveals that while cord-cutting was the main focus of pay TV operators in 2011, the threat of so-called “cord shaving” is “potentially a greater danger.”
“Cord shavers” are pay TV customers who downgrade their service to basic packages, realizing they can get much of the premium TV content they desire through online video sources.
Like cord cutters, cord shavers want to save money -- but according to Sappington, they consume more content than cord cutters, who tend to be light video users. Cord shavers tend to be heavy users of Netflix, for instance, consuming nearly eight hours of video per week on a computer.
He adds that 12 percent of U.S. broadband households that were pay TV subscribers have downgraded their pay TV service in the last year, while another 8 percent are likely to do so next year.