Turns Out TV Everywhere Authentication Isn't Too Tough

Looks like cable operators will need a new excuse for slow adoption of TV Everywhere, because it turns out consumers are doing just fine on that whole authentication boogeyman that was supposedly slowing them down from using the service.

Only 7% of TV Everywhere users say the authentication process is “difficult” or “very difficult” -- while on the flip side, more than two thirds rate it as “easy” or “very easy,” according to research firm TDG in a survey of adult broadband users.

To be fair, most TVE users said they’d prefer to eliminate the authentication aspect altogether. However, they don’t appear as vexed by it as TV industry insiders have claimed they would be. Consumers view authentication as “logging in,” which is something they have to do many times throughout the day while using the Web, TDG said.

In addition, problems with authentication aren’t causing defections. Only 11% of former TV Everywhere users say authentication is the reason they stopped using the service.

“Authentication has been demonized by industry executives as a key reason TVE use is not more widespread. Unfortunately, pointing to authentication as the cause of slow TVE uptake is a red herring, distracting attention from the real culprits: poor marketing and the inconsistent availability of the newest shows,” said Michael Greeson, TDG president and director of research.

These findings underscore that the potential for greater TV Everywhere consumer adoption lies in the hands of service providers and isn’t bedeviled by technological hurdles. Most non-users don’t rely on the service because of a lack of interest in watching TV on a small screen, and a poor understanding of the benefits, the study found.

The small-screen complaint may fall to the wayside in the months and years ahead as viewing on smaller devices becomes the norm. Online video technology firm Ooayala said viewing video on mobile devicesis slated to comprise more than half of video views by 2016, while mobile already accounted for 27% of online viewing in June, up from 21% in February.

As consumers quickly shift to smaller screens, cable operators have the opportunity to better market TV Everywhere.

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