Nearly six years after the concept was first introduced, TV Everywhere finally appears to be getting somewhere.
In a giant leap for TV Everywhere, Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE) announced that the percentage of pay-TV subscribers viewing multiscreen video content nearly tripled from 4.4% in the first quarter of 2013 to 12.5% in the fourth quarter of 2014. Further, the company found in its Inaugural Video Benchmark Report that more than 13 million viewers logged in to watch TVE programming at least once every quarter last year, up from 6 million active TVE viewers the year before.
Notably, TVE viewership slipped just slightly at the end of 2014, despite the fact that there were no major sporting events driving usage. Adobe believes that the hang-on effect after the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games and the 2014 FIFA World Cup means that viewership will continue to rise as subscribers discover more TV and movie content available online. Adobe's report predicts that TVE viewership will jump to 17.5% of pay-TV subscribers by the end of 2015.
The findings by Adobe jive with some of the other online video success stories reported individually by cable operators. At Light Reading's Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies conference in Denver last week, for example, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) disclosed that visits to the company's TVE platform have shot up roughly 50% from a year ago. (See Cable Starts Scoring With OTT .)
The news also explains why pay-TV providers are experimenting more heavily with over-the-top video services and why programmers are making more content available online. Adobe's forecast calls for more video service providers to expand their TVE content going forward, and for more broadcasters and cable networks to add back-catalog content to TV Everywhere offerings.
Almost as a side note, Adobe also predicts in its report that after AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) acquires DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), the combined company will launch a slimmed-down online TV service to compete directly with Sling TV and Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX). There's no word specifically on what's driving that prediction, but it would follow the trend of growing interest in skinny TV bundles. (See The Race Is on for Skinny TV.)
— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading