from the change-is-apparently-hard dept
For years the cable and broadcast industry has tried to pretend it’s keeping pace with the times via an initiative called “TV Everywhere.” TV Everywhere essentially lets cable subscribers watch a selection of limited content on limited devices — if you have a traditional cable connection. The idea is that if you’ve got TV Everywhere, there’s simply no need to wander off campus to enjoy streaming services from the likes of Netflix. But as we noted years ago, the idea was unlikely to accomplish much given it’s based on DRM’d, restrictive walled gardens and unskippable ads — precisely the sort of things that drive users to streaming alternatives and piracy in the first place.
Our skepticism appears warranted. A study from earlier this year indicated that 82% of consumers have no idea what TV Everywhere even is. While polite about it, the study concluded that this was because TV Everywhere as a concept just isn’t implemented very well, and inconsistently across carriers. The study also noted that just 4% even knew what their cable credentials are. Companies like Sling have seized on the TV Everywhere dysfunction, going so far as to launch entire ad campaigns mocking the concept for being overly restrictive and just kind of annoying.
In an amusing attempt to right the TV Everywhere ship, Comcast and NBC Universal appear poised to launch a new TV Everywhere brand awareness effort. This will include, reports indicate, promoting the service via ads running the tagline “watch TV without a TV”:
“The campaign, which carries the ?Watch TV without a TV? tagline and will be backed by digital and on-air promos across NBCU?s portfolio, will focus on how consumers can access content across those channels and brands on a variety of connected devices as part of their existing pay-TV The new TVE consumer campaign, NBCU said, will be ?laser focused on driving web traffic, mobile downloads, video views and increased engagement across NBCUniversal?s brands.”
Rather amusingly, this concept of “watching TV without a TV” only goes so far, given that while NBC is finally offering some live streams of its content on the company’s website as part of this new initiative, in good-old TV Everywhere fashion you still need a traditional cable subscription to access it. In twenty years the cable and broadcast industry’s attempts to fight consumers at every step of the way (skippable ads, walled gardens, a la carte) will be part of a hilarious master class in what not to do when fighting disruption. At the moment however, most of the cable and broadcast industry just believes it’s being incredibly clever and innovative.