Commentary

Tablets The Great Hope For TV Everywhere?

TV Everywhere hasn’t entirely taken off as planned. Sure, there are a few cable operator trials and a handful of programmer-led efforts such as HBO Go, which just added the Kindle Fire to its roster of TV Everywhere devices last week.

These efforts, although valiant, have not led to widespread TV Everywhere adoption.

But consumer behavior has a funny way of pushing businesses along. Because consumers are indeed watching videos on mobile phones and tablets -- those “everywhere” devices that TV Everywhere was intended to capture. That’s why the plan by the Pac-12 Networks to launch in August with a fully baked-in TV Everywhere strategy is a smart one to watch.

Leaning on online video technology provider Ooyala, the college sports suite of networks will roll out with video programming slated for all devices from the get-go. Network viewers can expect interactive, customized and personalized video via cable TV as well as online, tablets, smartphones and connected TVs. The smartphone and tablet programming will also include social viewing options, a smart move given the growth in social TV. That means fans of pretty much any Pac-12 sporting event can watch on their phones or tablets, as well as other devices, when they want -- provided they are authenticated via a subscription.

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This rollout strategy pairs perfectly with how tablet users interact with video. Because comScore reported on Friday that tablet owners are voracious video consumers. About 20% of tablet owners watch video once a week and 10% watch video almost every day on their tablets. In April, more than half of tablet users watched video or TV programming on their device, compared to 20 percent of smartphone users.

“Tablets are one of the most rapidly adopted consumer technologies in history and are poised to fundamentally disrupt the way people engage with the digital world both on-the-go and perhaps most notably, in the home,” said Mark Donovan, comScore senior VP of mobile, in a statement. What’s more, of those who watched video about one-quarter paid to watch video, comScore said. 

Paid is a good word in the media business, and this sort of consumer behavior is exactly why networks and programmers would be wise to adapt their TV Everywhere approaches to the rising tablet ownership and viewership and figure out what the consumption patterns mean for them.

1 comment about "Tablets The Great Hope For TV Everywhere?".
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  1. Mike Dawson from Solly Labs, June 12, 2012 at 3:50 p.m.

    Since the advent of Television, producers and station directors have been attempting to tailor their programming to the end consumer based on only having a limited amount of airtime - With digital, the available airtime became less limited, but as soon as station directors had the chance to meet needs in full - The needs changed: Consumers no longer need a station director to stage manage consumer viewing, the consumer is now managing their own. www.sollylabs.blogspot.com

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