As Deadline notes, there’s a huge untapped potential to get more viewers watching streaming programming:
The research firm says that in September, 3.1M unique users streamed TV Everywhere programming at AT&T, Cox, Comcast (Xfinity), Verizon, Cablevision (Optimum), Time Warner Cable, and Dish Network. That comes to just 5.1% of the roughly 60M customers who could have accessed TV Everywhere videos at those companies. The data suggest “relatively weak TV Everywhere awareness among cable, DBS and telco video subs, most likely due to the lack of any serious marketing campaigns to promote the product,” analyst Tony Lenoir says. It also means the services have a long way to go to catch up to other streaming video providers. For example, Hulu had 21.3M unique users in September, while Netflix had 16.2M.
I actually think this could be a critical way to get customers to be quite loyal to cable. The streaming landscape is a deeply confusing place right now: on Hulu alone, NBC puts up everything the day after it airs, Fox delays episodes unless you’re a Hulu plus subscriber, and CBS holds everything on its own site, which has an unbelievably terrible proprietary streaming player. Then, there’s HBO GO, which is a stand-alone service to HBO subscribers, but that is slightly unreliable. And Showtime is working with cable providers to have Showtime Anytime service work through their streaming players. Netflix gets new seasons of things at uneven rates. That’s confusing even for an obsessive consumer like me. If RCN developed a streaming service that made all content available on a consistent basis, with extremely high-quality visuals and fast-loading streaming, that alone would make me affirmatively loyal to the company for the first time in my career as an adult cable consumer. And I bet it would be a real value ad for people who don’t spend ten hours a day watching television and movies.