TV Everywhere online video service usage has grown 246% year on year in the United States. That is according to the latest Adobe Digital Index US Digital Video Benchmark. It sounds impressive but beware relative numbers. On analysis the absolute usage appears more modest. TV Everywhere services are currently used by around a fifth of pay-television households in the United States, according to various sources, so there is still plenty of room for growth. The informitv Multiscreen Index indicates that 60% of pay-television services worldwide have deployed some form of multiscreen offering.
Adobe does not represent the entire market for TV Everywhere, but it is an important enabler and its numbers provide a useful barometer of adoption.
By its own measurements, the number of unique visitors per month for TV Everywhere is up over 150% year on year and 49% over the last quarter. The number of TV Everywhere videos watched per visitor per month is also up by 133% across all types of device.
The most popular devices were iOS apps on Apple iPhones and iPads, accounting for 43% of TV Everywhere authentications. Web browsers accounted for 36% of authentications, followed by Android apps with 15%. Games consoles made up 6% of the total.
“We were surprised to see iOS app access take over the lead in terms of most commonly used device to access TV Everywhere,” said Joe Martin, lead analyst for video for the Adobe Digital Index. “The other surprise was that the percentage of households using TV Everywhere jumped from 16% to 21% in just the past six months.”
The Adobe data is based on 1.3 billion TV Everywhere authentications over a year. It sounds like a big number.
In fact the Adobe data reveals that there were 9.2 authentications per unique visitor on iOS apps in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 5.1 in the same period a year previously.
That works out at around three uses a month, which does not sound quite so impressive.
Furthermore, only a fifth of pay-television households use TV Everywhere services. According to the Adobe data it is now 21%, compared to 16% a year previously. That may represent a 33% increase but TV Everywhere is still hardly universal.
The Adobe Digital Video Benchmark is full of relative figures, in terms of percentage growth and share. The headline numbers are huge. There were 35.6 billion online video starts in the first quarter of 2014 but we are not told how many of these are TV Everywhere authenticated views. The key number of monthly unique visitors using TV Everywhere is not given.
So we can work it out. There are around 110 million pay-television homes in the United States. Just over a fifth of them currently use TV Everywhere type services, which is about 23 million.
If we divide 1.3 billion TV Everywhere authentications a quarter by 23 million homes using TV Everywhere, we get just over 14 uses a month per home accessing these services.
Let us assume that half of these households have an iOS device which they use to access TV Everywhere services, on average just over 3 times a month. That is only 35 million video views a month in total.
While there is increasing awareness, adoption and usage of TV Everywhere services in the United States, it is important to keep the numbers in perspective.
Our own data demonstrate widespread deployment of multiscreen services by pay-television operators globally. The informitv Multiscreen Index shows 60% of the 100 services in the index currently offer some form of multiscreen access.
The US Digital Video Benchmark from Adobe Digital Index is available from the Adobe CMO web site. The Multiscreen Index is available from informitv.