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TV Everywhere Picking Up Steam

Alan Breznick

Is TV Everywhere finally getting somewhere? Yes, but still at a very deliberate pace.

In the latest quarterly analysis by Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE), TV Everywhere (TVE) penetration of US pay-TV homes climbed in the fourth quarter of last year to 17.4%. Nearly seven years after the launch of TVE services, that's still a pretty measly rate, but it is up markedly from a 14.3% rate in the third quarter and 12.8% at the end of 2014.

More encouragingly for pay-TV providers, actual TVE viewing by subscribers slightly more than doubled in the fourth quarter on a year-over-year basis, according to the Adobe Digital Index (ADI). Authenticated video viewing rose steadily throughout 2015, with most months showing increases in viewing over the previous month.

Further, Adobe found that the number of active TVE users jumped 22% in the fall quarter from the previous quarter. So, while most US pay-TV subscribers still don't tap into their provider's TV Everywhere services, those who do are consuming far more content. (See Pay-TV Providers See Multiscreen Promise.)

Want to learn more about TV Everywhere and other cable video initiatives? Then sign up now for Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies, taking place at the Cable Center in Denver on Thursday, March 10.

In another notable finding that pay-TV providers will likely welcome, Adobe reported that broadcast and cable programming enjoyed the greatest surge in TVE viewing over the past year. Broadcast and cable viewing more than doubled, rising 111%, as opposed to 89% growth for movies, 80% growth for sports and 61% growth for children's/teenagers' programming.

"This is the first time we've seen that," said Betsy Tasker, managing analyst at ADI. "We think it's because of some of these fall premieres and people wanting to watch when it's more convenient for them instead of when it broadcasts on the actual cable channel."

In one more notable finding, Adobe said TVE viewing appears to be shifting away from mobile devices and towards connected-TV boxes, such as Roku and Apple TV. While iOS-based devices like the iPad and iPhone still commanded the largest number of TVE authentications, iOS's market share dropped 20% over the year to 36%, while the market share of TV-connected boxes climbed 16% to 21%.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

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