Will People Pay For TV Everywhere?

Last month I discussed the technical realities of "TV Everywhere," and the challenges we need to overcome as an industry before networks, studios and cable systems will be able to deliver true multiplatform distribution of premium content through a paid, cable system-based subscription model.  If you missed that post, you can check it out here. 

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.

More details on TDG's findings can be found here and here.

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.

8 comments about "Will People Pay For TV Everywhere? ".
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  1. Ruth Barrett from, October 9, 2009 at 11:19 a.m.

    I don't think the technology platforms were launched by "new help consumers post videos of dancing babies and waterskiing dogs on the Internet" but to enable content, including TV content, to be distributed on multiple platforms and most importantly, the computer. The opportunity afforded by technology is simple: early early adopters or "followers" gain a competitive advantage.

  2. Dean Collins from Cognation Inc, October 9, 2009 at 11:19 a.m.

    how about getting Time Warner to do 'multi' room before they worry about getting 'Tv Anywhere' working.

    Plus what happened to running external storage on local esata drives.

    The samsung 3090 boxes still dont have esata turned on.

    Both the csr's i spoke with were clueless about what esata IS let alone how to solve the problem.

    TV anywhere.... lol try supporting what you have already Time Warner.

  3. Howie Goldfarb from Blue Star Strategic Marketing, October 9, 2009 at 11:22 a.m.

    Ben great post. I have thought long and hard about content providers and whether paid content vs advertising should be their business model. Using the Movies as a benchmark which shows about $5/hour that people willingly pay, I was wondering if TV/Cable should pay for viewing. If the delivery companies opt in to such a program removing the monthly fee, my guess is revenues per household would be higher, though that would have to be split accordingly. And if brands refuse to pay premium pricing for mediocre returns from commercials maybe this format would increase competition and improve content (since most content is pretty weak outside of sports these days).

    And with your TV Anywhere price point, shouldn't tech companies like Facebook, You Tube and Twitter be also charging consumers vs hoping for Ad Revenue that will never support their business model? I personally think people will shell out the money for superior content and technology in return for reduced advertising.

    People do not realize the deal they have received from Ad Supported Content over the years, and Brands and Media Companies refused to force people to watch/view the ads creating this perverse view we are entitled to great content and technology for free! Shame on the enablers and it is time to change that.

  4. Alan Schulman from SapientNitro, October 9, 2009 at 12:12 p.m.

    TV Everywhere seems to work in theory. The question is, how are we going to measure this? Will Advertisers or won't advertisers accept duplication? Will agencies insist on seeing how every platform performs and is measured? Likely! There are also (2) existing precedents in the market that will challenge duplication: How Syndicated show audience is currently measured and the way C3 is calculated. Without getting into the weeds of those issues, this will have major revenue implications for the networks... the least of which will be how audience digital platforms are really pulling... or not.

  5. Richard Monihan, October 9, 2009 at 3:37 p.m.

    I'm already struggling to reduce my reliance on external information gathering devices, while trying to limit my TV viewing. It's hard, particularly since it's the way I earn a living...

    But I simply can't, at the moment, see a need for TV Everywhere. As a result it's not something that interests me, nor would I pay for it.

    Maybe in 10 years I'll change my tune. Not now. Just don't see how it fits into my life. I'd rather have a life than TV Everywhere.

  6. Katherine Ryan from Independent Consulting, October 9, 2009 at 6:06 p.m.

    The idea of helping Hollywood studios distribute their content on multiple platforms sounds good in theory, if their underlying motive wasn't to try and control the entire medium. Haven't they learned anything from the demise of the music labels?

  7. Jonathan Mirow from BroadbandVideo, Inc., October 9, 2009 at 6:19 p.m.

    TV Everywhere is a great idea - but then, I'm a big Comcast fan. Why? They got On Demand right when "interactive TV" became aka "epic fail" after dozens of attempts. At last I could really order a movie online and it worked every time, oh - and I had all the bandwidth I could suck up at home after 3 other companies failed to deliver. I'm assuming as a cable subscriber I will get this new service for free (like On Demand) or it will be a small additional charge that I won't notice in my massive monthly cable bill. Will others pay? Probably - if not they can go back to watching waterskiing squirrels while I check out the latest episode of Sons of Anarchy or Crash on my PC...

  8. Todd Zander from healthline, October 12, 2009 at 12:42 p.m.

    now that you made this post, I can't imagine what the industry will be talking about!

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