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Cable Technology Feature Article

September 18, 2013

Pay TV Subscribers in Europe Overwhelmingly Have Access to TV Everywhere

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

When it comes to TV Everywhere in European, according to a study released recently from Parks Associates (News - Alert), the level of market penetration is actually pretty sound. The reports suggest that, when it comes to pay TV subscribers, over 70 percent of those who subscribe can get access to a TV Everywhere program, and things only go on from there.

While that 70 percent statistic is telling enough, the Parks Associates research went on from there to project that, by 2017, better than 55 percent of all broadband households in Western Europe will also have a smart TV in the house. This in turn is likely to spur demand for other online video services, which aren't always easy to find in Europe thanks to a variety of licensing rules that, for a good while, restrained Netflix's ability to expand out of the United States and in turn contributed to the rise of services like Lovefilm.

Parks Associates, meanwhile, will have a lot more to talk about when it takes to the CTAM EuroSummit '13 event in Barcelona, Spain, set to begin September 20. During said event, the president of Parks Associates, Stuart Sikes, will be moderating a session entitled “TV Everywhere Update: What's Trending in Europe,” which will take a closer look at the TV Everywhere phenomenon in Europe, and offer some insight on how said trend is impacting several others, like cord cutting (also known as cable cutting), cord shaving, the adoption rate of premium services offered on a la carte plans, overall subscription rates and total customer satisfaction.

This makes particular sense given that the EuroSummit '13 event itself is focused on a variety of topics within television, like Social TV, Connected TV, competitive branding, On Demand advertising, and a wide array of others, focusing not only on the presentation of cable marketing but on the technology used in providing same.

Given what's going on in the wider sphere of television, bringing out TV Everywhere services is likely a smart move. Entertainment is sort of a periphery item in people's budgets; if it's not there at all, people will have a difficult time, but it's an item in the budget that can often be at least temporarily reduced to accommodate hard times. Value in the field is therefore highly prized, and a major reason why many have left behind cable bills for services like Netflix and Hulu (News - Alert) Plus and the like. But by like token, a higher bill can be more readily justified if more is provided within that bill—there are essentially two components of value: investment and return—and TV Everywhere can be a big part of an improved value package. The kind of improved value that can justify paying a bill a while longer, and instead cutting back elsewhere.

It will be interesting to see just what numbers come out of the TV Everywhere Update panel, and see if TV Everywhere is in fact having a positive impact on customer satisfaction and retention rates, very much under fire given the array of services available online. Until then, though—and even following the revelation of numbers--the battle for customers will likely carry on unabated.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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