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TV Everywhere (TVE)

What is TV Everywhere (TVE)? Understanding the Evolution of TV Viewing

Television has come a long way from the days of limited channels and scheduled programming. One significant evolution in linear TV is the advent of TV Everywhere (TVE), a concept that transforms how audiences access and experience their favorite shows. In essence, TV Everywhere bridges the gap between traditional linear TV and the digital landscape, offering viewers a flexible and convenient way to consume content.

The concept of TV Everywhere (TVE), also known as authenticated streaming or authenticated video on-demand, revolutionized the American subscription business model, requiring users to authenticate themselves as current subscribers to access streaming video content from a television channel. Introduced in 2009 by Time Warner Cable and officially launched by Comcast in 2010, TVE services gained momentum, including major networks like TBS, TNT, ESPN, and HBO. It aimed to counteract cord-cutting trends by providing subscribers with online access to live and on-demand content. However, the concept faced criticism for its complexity and as a perceived paywall.

Why was TV Everywhere considered a pivotal advancement in the television industry?

TV Everywhere acted as a bridge between traditional and digital TV experiences, allowing the streaming of linear content on internet-connected devices. This freedom enabled subscribers to watch their preferred channels and content on various devices.

TV Everywhere represented a significant advancement by seamlessly blending traditional and digital TV experiences. It offered viewers the flexibility to consume content across different devices. As the TV landscape evolves and despite the rise of streaming, understanding the nuances of TV Everywhere continues to be crucial for both viewers and advertisers to navigate the changing dynamics effectively.

How Does TV Everywhere Work?

TV Everywhere allows users to stream linear content on internet-connected devices, ushering in a new era of television accessibility. Some prominent players that provide TV Everywhere services include:

  • ESPN: Known for its sports content, ESPN offers a TV Everywhere service that allows subscribers to access live and on-demand sports content.
  • FOXNOW: FOX provides a TV Everywhere app, allowing users to stream content from the FOX network by authenticating with their cable or satellite subscription.
  • NBC: NBC offers the NBC app as part of TV Everywhere, enabling viewers to watch NBC content online with a cable or satellite TV login.
  • HBO Max: While HBO Max is a standalone streaming service, it also incorporates TV Everywhere features, allowing cable or satellite subscribers to access HBO content.

To grasp the essence of TV Everywhere versus services provided in streaming, let's delve into an example. Consider the FXNOW app and FX on Hulu, both facets of the FX network.

Example: FXNOW vs. FX on Hulu

FXNOW: This operates as a TV Everywhere (TVE) application, necessitating users to authenticate their cable or satellite TV subscription. Through FXNOW, viewers can enjoy a mix of live and on-demand programming directly from the FX network.

FX on Hulu: In contrast, FX on Hulu is seamlessly integrated into the Hulu streaming service. Users can access it either as an add-on or as part of specific Hulu plans. FX on Hulu, following a subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) model, offers an extensive library of FX content. The key distinction is its independence from traditional TV subscriptions, providing viewers with the flexibility of on-demand streaming. It's important to note that FX on Hulu is not an example of TV Everywhere. It operates within the Hulu streaming service and does not require authentication through a traditional TV subscription.

This example illustrates the dynamic shift facilitated by TV Everywhere, allowing audiences to choose between traditional and modern viewing experiences. TV Everywhere not only provides accessibility but also opens up a realm of possibilities, catering to diverse preferences and viewing habits.

How does TV Everywhere complicate the television landscape regarding advertising rights and monetization?

TV Everywhere introduces intricacies in the relationships between content, channels, and apps, particularly in the allocation of advertising rights. In the traditional linear advertising model, distributors usually monetize 10-15% of ad space, while programmers command 85-90%. With the transition to TV Everywhere (TVE) apps, viewers experience the continuation of the traditional 14 minutes of national advertising by programmers, with the remaining 2 minutes sold by the app owner, often labeled as streaming ads.

Is TV Everywhere experiencing a decline in popularity, and what factors contribute to this trend?

Yes, TV Everywhere has experienced a decline in popularity, mainly due to shifting viewer preferences and evolving industry dynamics. One significant factor is the rise of subscription-based streaming services that offer convenient, on-demand access to a wide range of content without the need for traditional cable or satellite subscriptions. Consumers increasingly favor the flexibility and extensive libraries provided by services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.

User dissatisfaction with TV Everywhere's complex authentication processes and perceived limitations has also played a role. The platform has been criticized for being difficult for end-users to set up, leading to frustration and hindering widespread adoption.