The transition to a new world of online television authentication a la TV Everywhere may not be all that bumpy — from a consumer readiness standpoint anyway. A new study from Interpret Research shows that 89 percent of “online television streamers” (they don’t specify what that means, exactly) also subscribe to a cable or satellite service. Additionally, 72 percent of active streamers use the web specifically to catch up on broadcast TV episodes they missed. So, since TV Eveywhere will be free (for now) to subscribers, a large chunk of the MSO base is already primed to watching television online.
But it’s not all gravy for operators; 38 percent of current online streamers turn to the web to watch fewer commercials through sites like Hulu and YouTube. As we’ve heard, networks plan to port over the full load of ads that can’t be skipped through TV Everywhere, so there could be a disconnect for consumers. Interpret believes the number of ads online could drive consumers back to DVRs, where commercials can be zapped.
Michael Gartenberg, Interpret’s vice president of strategy and analysis said in a press release:
Overall, ‘TV Everywhere’ is likely to achieve success in regaining a measure of control over the online TV marketplace and we are tracking a very significant consumer appetite for the service. While online-only TV viewers are unlikely to embrace the restricted-access concept, these consumers are outnumbered nearly 25 to 1 by active cable and satellite subscribers who will be granted automatic access to the service. If ‘TV Everywhere’ can offer an attractive alternative to DVRs, consumers are likely to take advantage of it and migrate to the Internet for their television viewing.
That however, is a big “if.” Cable companies aren’t exactly known for elegant entries into new technologies.