New York - The TV Everywhere concept is solid, said
panelists at the "Gadget Nation: New Tech for a New Generation of TV
Viewers" session, but the execution so far is all over the map. Asked by
moderator Todd Spangler to grade the mobile viewing initiative, 1-10, the marks
ranged from a 2 to a 6, and averaged out to a 4.
"One of the biggest challenges [for users] is, where is
it, how do I get it?" said John Pascarelli, executive VP of operations at
Mediacom, singling out Netflix and iTunes for an intuitive interface.
Renee Plato, senior VP of digital distribution, Univision
Communications, simply said the process for users is "wack."
The panelists are also wrestling with increased audience
fragmentation, and the challenge of making their content stick amidst the
myriad choices available to users. "There's way more fragmentation and way
more distraction and it's way more difficult for advertisers to hold onto eyeballs,"
said Peter Low, president and CEO, Ensequence.
Univision aims to stand out for users on the go with its
UVideos initiative, which Plato described as "our TV Everywhere
offering," with social media integrated into the content mix.
Such products may not crank out substantial revenue, but are
the cost of doing business for media entities, she said. "We're doing it
as a value add and to strengthen the value of the product we offer our MVPD
partners," said Plato.
Failing to connect with the iPad/smartphone crowd is to miss
out on an increasing chunk of the viewing public, agreed the panelists.
"The living room on the go is the new reality," said Jeremy Helfand,
VP of video monetization at Adobe.
The challenges of content storage, added Jeremy Morrison, VP,
sales engineering at Avail-TVN, are increasingly an issue for operators.
"We see it evolving to more cloud-based storage," he said.
The challenges of improving users' access to TV Everywhere,
including getting distributors to agree on a standard authentication gateway,
may be surmountable. While Canoe Ventures shuttered its interactive TV business
earlier this year, Low said its technology platform worked -- for cable,
satellite, telco, mobile and connected TV alike. "There is a way to pull
all this together," Low said.