TV….it’s an app


It used to be that the only option was buying a big tv screen, placing it in one’s living room or den, then everyone would gather around at a specific time to watch their favorite program.

Not anymore.

As Maria Rua Aguete, Research Director for Television Media at IHS wrote in her blog:

“US cable TV average revenue per user (ARPU) is $80…many will continue cutting the cord in favor of lower priced alternatives if they feel they’re overpaying for what they are getting.”

As a result, and with the advent of Roku, Chromecast, AppleTV, tablets and smartphones, television has become an app.

An app where everyone can watch when they want. And where they want.

According to #Digital90210, media consumption in apps grew 108% from Q2 of 2014 to Q2 2015. Applications that makes it easier for consumers to access the content and services that are important to them.

The perfect example? CBS News launching a new AppleTV app with no authentication required. With a focus on live video where users can browse while watching to find related video and video playlists. With the ability to bookmark on demand videos.

An interesting point. CBS News reports that the average viewing session is the longest when users use AppleTV versus other devices. 96 minutes per session.

In addition, according to Brian Wiser from Pivotal Research, viewing of TV programming on internet connected devices rose 62% in June 2016 vs a year ago when he analyzed Nielsen’s data. He also noted that there was a boost in viewing on gadgets (Roku, AppleTV and Chromecast) that pushed the total use of TV up 2.4% in the 18-49 age group. And accounted for 7.7% of all viewing.

From an addressable TV advertising perspective, Tim Hanlon, managing director of FTI’s Consulting Telecom, Media and Technology Practice, has some interesting insights:

  1. cord cutting and unbundling are affecting/pressuring the economics of MVPDS (MVPDS can’t raise their subscription rates to compensate for the decline in subscriber numbers) and
  2. the advantage of television’s scale, when it comes to advertising, is a “red herring” as marketers are comfortable with precision targeting because of digital advertising thanks to audience data and the IP-ization” of media channels.

In addition, as the television audience continues to fragment (eg: HBO Now, CBS All Access), any advertiser who wants to advertise on these channels can’t because no measuring device has emerged to measure the audiences.

Add that about 50% of online viewing occurs in ad free or ad light formats, advertisers are asking this question – will consumers gradually get used to viewing no ads? If they do, then what happens? How can they quantify the program’s being watched online?

The challenges, from an advertising point of view, remain. Without any audience statistics, advertisers are unable to determine where to place their ads.

From a customer POV? It’s never been more easier to watch content online when they want it.


Published by Nick, aka, Research Guru

My real name is Nick but my clients call me the Research Guru. Why? Because I love researching and finding information. And they’re literally amazed when I find the information for them. I love analyzing how technology influences the media and entertainment world. Because the media and entertainment industry is constantly changing. And technology is playing a big role in changing it (from CD’s to live-streaming). Finally, I love coffee, going to the gym/working out and anything to do with athletic leisure clothing (I’m a big Lululemon fan). P.S. If you need to follow me on social media: Twitter: @nickhtang Instagram: @the_information_guru