Viacom Research Finds TV Everywhere ‘Additive’ to TV Viewing Experience

stuart-schneiderman by Stuart Schneiderman, Consumer Insights & Measurement, Viacom Media Networks


While still nascent in terms of awareness and usage, TV Everywhere (TVE) presents a significant opportunity for brands to grow and strengthen their relationships with fans. The TV Everywhere experience is defined as watching full-length TV programs on sites and apps by “authenticating” –  using one’s pay TV log-in information. Viacom’s “TV Here, There, (Not Quite) Everywhere” study explores consumers’ perceptions, expectations and experiences around TVE apps and sites.  The findings reveal an increase in overall TV viewing among TVE users, as well as greater customer loyalty towards pay TV providers that offer TVE services.

Key Findings

The majority agrees: TV Everywhere is additive to the TV viewing experience.

  • Since they began using TVE apps and sites, 64% of users report watching more TV overall. This finding is even stronger among Millennials, with 72% watching more TV.
  • For those using TV Everywhere, the television is still the go-to source for TV shows and watching live.
  • After live TV, TVE apps and sites are a strong alternative, rivaling VOD, DVR and other sites that don’t require authentication with a pay TV provider, such as subscription streaming services or other free sites.

TVE increases the value of pay TV subscriptions and strengthens loyalty towards pay TV providers and networks.

  • A full 98% of users say TVE adds value to their pay TV subscription, with 67% saying it adds “a lot” of value.
  • 93% are more likely to stay with their provider due to TV Everywhere and 68% have a more favorable impression of networks that offer TVE experiences.

I Want My TVE: Main Drivers of Usage.

Content is King: Whether to re-watch or catch up, content is one of the biggest drivers of TV Everywhere usage.

  • 31% report re-watching episodes and 22% report starting a show from the first season.
  • Over two-thirds report using TVE more often than other third-party/free sites because they can find: more shows overall (42%); the shows/series they want to watch (38%); and exclusives (23%).

True flexibility: TVE allows viewers to watch shows when, where and how they want.

  • Nearly one-third of users use TVE because they weren’t able to watch the show live.
  • 28% percent use TVE because they are away from home.
  • 22% use TVE because all TVs were in use, and the same percentage cite being able to move around the house.

Staying savvy: TVE users consider themselves early adopters.

  • One-fifth says they started using TVE because they like to be the first to try new things.
  • TVE users are also much more likely to own and access TV shows on a range of different devices, including tablets, set-top-boxes and Smart TVs.

Barriers To Adoption

  • The main barriers to adoption are a lack of perceived need, concerns about hidden costs, lack of awareness and screen size.
  • There is no go-to source of discovery: 17% of users heard about TVE from an ad on TV; 16% were made aware by a spouse or partner; and 54% of kids learned about it from their parents.
  • While 19% of users say they have no problems with their TVE experiences, the top issues tend to be tech-related, including loading/buffering (24%) and crashing/freezing (23%). Content-related issues are far less common.

The Ideal TVE Experience

  • Flexibility of a “Digital DVR”: Viewers want to be able to pause a show and pick it up at another time, even on another device. Most popular “wants” are: the abilities to start/stop (66%); to watch on any device (64%); and to use outside of their home Wi-Fi (60%).
  • Deep Content Libraries:  Viewers want instant gratification and complete and deep content libraries, including immediate access to recent episodes (65%), old seasons of shows (62%), content that never expires (62%) and live TV (56%).
  • Smart Search: Intuitive search functionalities are crucial. Consumers want clear search boxes to search for specific shows (68%), organized content (59%) and the ability to make queues or lists of favorites for later viewing (55%).
  • Custom Logins: Particularly in multi-person households or for those with kids in the home, the ability to customize (52%) and have accounts for multiple users (48%) is important.


While viewers find TVE additive, there is a general lack of awareness around these services, suggesting that TV Everywhere apps and services would benefit from increased consumer marketing. In addition, insights on what users want out of TV Everywhere – flexibility, extensive content, smart search and custom logins – can guide content and product teams in creating the ideal TV Everywhere experiences for viewers.


For the purposes of this study, the TV Everywhere experience is defined as watching full-length TV programs on sites and apps by “authenticating,” or using pay TV log-in information. The methodology involved digital online journals, focus groups and ethnographies in New York and Chicago. Online surveys were conducted with more than 1,300 Viacom viewers ages 13-49 and more than 600 kids ages 2-12. Participants included both users of TV Everywhere and non-users.

Stuart Schneiderman is Senior Vice President of Consumer Insights & Measurement for Viacom Media Networks.

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  1. nice post…very useful for us

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