Apple Dominates TV Everywhere

Apple TV - 9-2015
Source: courtesy of Apple Inc.
Watching TV on an Internet-connected device rose 63% year over year at the end of June. That number includes only authenticated views, which the industry calls TV Everywhere. Authenticated viewers are subscribers to a pay-TV service who legally watch streamed videos. It is not free, but is available as part of the subscription.

TV Everywhere is device-independent. Subscribers can watch streaming video on a desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet or a TV set connected to an over-the-top device from Apple, Google or Roku. And this is where it gets interesting.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is expected to announce a new version of its Apple TV device at Wednesday’s shindig, and according to data compiled by Adobe Digital Index, any gains the company gets from the new hardware will be icing on the cake. Of nearly 1.5 billion authenticated TV views in the first half of 2015, Apple captured 61.9% of viewers.

That does not mean that the existing Apple TV device drew all those viewers. The most popular brand of streaming media device purchased in 2014 comes from Roku, followed by the offerings from Google and Amazon. Apple TV ranks fourth.

However, when we consider all devices on which a streamed video may be viewed, Apple clearly dominates. According to Adobe, users of an Apple iPad accounted for 22.3% of all authenticated views in the second quarter of this year. iPhones and iPads accounted for 19.4% of all views, while views on a desktop Mac accounted for 7.4% of all views and 12.8% of views were streamed to the current version of Apple TV. A chart from the Adobe report is included below.

The share of authenticated views on a TV-connected device more than doubled year over year to 21%. Views on either a tablet or smartphone rose 35% year over year, and declining tablet sales (down 21% year over year) are being matched by growth in smartphone viewing (up 20%), likely due to the larger smartphone and phablet screens.

Adobe also noted that active TV Everywhere viewership grew by 19% year over year but has stagnated in the past three quarters and dropped by 4% between the first and second quarters of this year.

ALSO READ: Pay-TV Subscriber Numbers Could Be Worse Than They Look

We might speculate that the drop may be accounted for by the decline in pay-TV subscribers. Remember, in order to have access to TV Everywhere, a viewer has to be paying for a subscription to a pay-TV channel or directly to an a la carte offering like HBO Go. One thing to watch is whether the availability of programs like HBO Go will staunch the recent decline in active TV Everywhere viewership.

TV Everywhere chart-Adobe 2Q2015
Source: Adobe Inc.

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