Ahead of next week’s Apple event where the company is expected to debut new Apple TV hardware and software which may include support for an app store and a cable-replacing streaming TV service, Adobe has released its new video benchmarking report that indicates Apple TV has been increasing its share of over-the-top viewing. Specifically, over the past quarter, Apple TV increased its share of “TV Everywhere” – aka, authenticated – TV viewing, while competing connected TV devices like Roku saw marginal to no movement, the report says.
The term “TV Everywhere” refers to the model where TV broadcasters, like cable TV networks, allow customers to watch content on internet-connected devices by signing in with their account information with the pay TV provider.
In other words, tracking of “TV Everywhere” viewing speaks more to a shift in consumer behavior where people are choosing to watch streaming video content on a variety of connected devices.
However, when Adobe did look just at unauthenticated video (those not requiring logins), it found that consumers were opting for smartphones over tablets. Viewing on tablets fell 21% year-over-year, while smartphone viewing is up 20%.
That being said, the newly released “TV Everywhere” data from the study is still relevant in light of Apple’s ambitions to offer its own streaming TV service.
According to rumors, the streaming TV service will launch next year offering bundled TV channels for $40 per month. But initially, Apple TV customers will still need cable or satellite TV accounts in order to unlock the streaming TV content for the new TV channel bundles.
That’s a requirement Apple customers, at least for the time being, may be comfortable with. Apple device owners already heavily consume “TV Everywhere” content, the report found. For instance, the Apple iPad is today the number one device for viewing this content, with 22.3 percent of users watching on Apple’s tablet. Following the iPad, the next most popular platforms were PCs (18.3%), iPhones (18.2%), then Apple TV (12.8%).
Even though many consumers find the login requirement frustrating, TV Everywhere viewing is continuing to grow – this type of viewing is up 63 percent year-over-year, while authenticated viewing via TV-connected devices like Apple TV or Roku is up 110 percent year-over-year.
That gives Apple a little time to capitalize on consumers’ desire to watch TV via their connected devices before it has to figure out how to cater to cord-cutters. However, that time could be limited. Adobe points out that while TV Everywhere viewing is growing, that growth is slowing. Though active TV Everywhere viewership grew by 19 percent year-over-year, growth has stagnated in the past three quarters and is down 4 percent quarter-over-quarter.
The younger generation is also heavily responsible for the ongoing TV Everywhere growth, the study also found, as “teens and toons”-themed content grew 153 percent year-over-year on connected-TV devices, while usage of iOS devices declined. Plus, these “Generation Z” users are viewing at a higher frequency than others (up 81% year-over-year, or 6x higher than other demographics).