TV Everywhere (TVE) is still evolving, but progress is indeed being made, agreed Will Richmond, Editor and publisher of VideoNuze, Corey Halverson, product director of media business solutions for Akamai, and Brightcove's CTO for media and broadcast solutions, Albert Lai, during a panel discussion at the PLAY 2013 Brightcove customer conference this week in Boston. The timely conversation took place in the midst of news from both ABC and Turner about plans to live stream programming to authenticated viewers.
Richmond opened the conversation by soliciting a definition for TVE, which he said continues to mean different things to different people since Comcast and Time Warner first coined the term back in 2009. "TVE is TV business models meeting consumer choice and demand," according to Halverson, who noted that the concept can still be very confusing.
Lai stressed the central role of authentication in TVE, which is critical in granting consumers access to the content that is available to them. This requires relationships and clear agreements between content providers and operators to avoid potentially confusing situations. "I use DirecTV for my TV and Time Warner for Internet service. Who decides what content I can access?" Lai asked to illustrate the point.
"This isn't your grandmother's video streaming," said Halverson in explaining that TV Everywhere brings together numerous technology pieces to support transformative change in the TV business. Among those are ad pod management and advertising, which he called a treasure trove of interesting activity.
The panelists agreed with Richmond's observation that the urgency surrounding TVE is dependent on the perceived threats to the existing TV models. "We saw a big interest in TVE solutions in 2012," said Lai, but indicated that rights and relationships are usually being worked out on the timelines of bigger agreements.
Halverson observed that the urgency to be "in the game" is clearly strong but how aggressively operators and content providers are moving varies.
Currently, affiliate sales groups of the major media companies are playing the biggest direct role with what is happening with TVE in Halverson's eyes, with consumers serving as the forcing factor. "Media companies have strong brands. If those brands start to erode due to content reaching audiences through new channels, then you'll see things move faster. Right now, lots of elements of TVE can be used as chips in a negotiation; that's where TVE happens today."