By mid-2011, TV Everywhere, or multiscreen, services will be available to 81 percent of U.S. and Canadian pay-TV subscribers through their current service providers, according to a new report by Parks Associates.
TV service providers in the United States have moved aggressively in response to data showing that multiscreen services can help reduce churn and attract younger subscribers. Nearly 40 percent of U.S. broadband consumers ages 18-34 find TV Everywhere services very appealing. Globally, service providers are expanding their multiscreen services to meet competition from online video sources, the entrance of other operators, and the dramatic increase of online and mobile video usage over the past three years.
“Service providers realize they need to be the consumer’s primary source of video content on all platforms,” says Brett Sappington, senior analyst, Parks Associates. “In North America and Western Europe in particular, TV Everywhere has moved rapidly from a handful of offerings to widespread availability. Today, operators from all sectors, telco, cable, and satellite, now offer online access to VoD or live TV, with several adding support for smartphones and tablets.”
In North America, most TV Everywhere initiatives are available to subscribers at no additional cost. Comcast has been an early leader in this area, launching Fancast Xfinity TV in December 2009.
Innovative pay-TV providers in Western Europe, including Sky, Ziggo, and Orange, launched multiscreen services prior to their North American counterparts, with some offering services as early as 2006, but activity in TV Everywhere services picked up significantly over the past year. Today, 40 percent of subscribers in Western Europe can receive a multiscreen service from their current pay-TV provider.
Multiscreen services in other regions are only now emerging. Twelve percent of pay-TV subscribers in Eastern Europe can receive a TV Everywhere service from their current provider, with many operators deploying this feature as part of new IP-based systems. Services in South Korea and Japan lag other developed nations due to the ability of mobile phones in those countries to receive TV signals via digital terrestrial broadcasts.