My company supports all monetization models, both paid and unpaid -- but four weeks after my last post, TV Everywhere remains an inescapable buzzword of our industry. And if this technology didn't represent such a sea change in the way content will be delivered to users, the bandwagon aspect of all this hoopla might well turn me off.
You see, it's not in my nature to be a follower. I'm just not built that way. Years ago, when the online video space began to heat up and hundreds of new companies were launched to help consumers post videos of dancing babies and waterskiing dogs on the Internet, I thought to myself, "Cute, but how are they going to make money at that?"I like dancing babies as much as anyone, but wouldn't it be better to find a way to help premium content owners -- Hollywood studios, broadcasters and programmers -- to distribute their TV and film assets on multiple platforms, monetize those assets and harness the Internet to build bigger audiences?
So when Comcast and Time Warner announced in June that they were partnering for a TV Everywhere initiative, I thought to myself, "Interesting, but will they garner interest from other cable operators and programmers? And assuming they can get it to work, will people want this type of service in the first place?"The answer to both questions appears to be a resounding yes.
Last week, my company released the results of a survey conducted by The Diffusion Group of 1,300 adult Internet users. The respondents were asked about their online video viewing habits and preferences, and the data clearly demonstrates that TV Everywhere is not only viable, but may present one of the greatest monetization opportunities in the digital media industry.
Approximately one-quarter of consumers want TV Everywhere-style content access, and are willing to pay an additional monthly fee ($10-$15) for seamless access to a TV Everywhere-type service that can be viewed on multiple platforms and devices.
Consumers are already viewing online video "everywhere" -- on nontraditional video platforms at multiple locations. Within the last month, these consumers report having watched online video on several devices other than a computer or laptop, including mobile phones, portable video players, televisions and portable gaming players.
Consumers are willing to pay to rent premium content on-demand from studio-branded rental sites, eliminating the middlemen found in the traditional Electronic Sell-Through and Video On-Demand models.
I'll admit, it's in my nature to be a skeptic. But I'm sold, and I'm fully onboard the TV Everywhere bandwagon.