Direct-to-consumer SVOD sites trump TVE on Roku

Amid the steady drumbeat of negative data emerging about TV Everywhere comes what is perhaps the most damning finding yet: Standalone apps from programmers like HBO are far more popular on the leading OTT platform, Roku, than authenticated pay-TV apps.

According to data provided in a report by search engine operator Shodan and unearthed by Variety, nine-month-old standalone streaming service HBO Now is now the fourth most popular app on Roku, trailing only the major SVOD services, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

The TVE-situated HBO Go ranks only 15th.

In fact, HBO Go is the top-rated TVE app on Roku, followed by FoxNow (19th) and WatchESPN (22). 

It's interesting insight, given that Roku doesn't release data on the popularity of channels. Notably, the Shodan Roku numbers are not a metric relating to mobile consumption, so that could put TVE apps on uneven ground. 

After all, HBO subscribers can watch the linear HBO channels in their living room without switching on their Roku. If they eschew pay-TV and subscribe to the standalone HBO Now alternative, there is no choice but to use an OTT device like Roku. The real utility of TVE apps like HBO Go are for mobile viewing. 

Earlier this week, research firm Hub Entertainment said that 54 percent of pay-TV customers polled said they thought the pay-TV multiscreen services cost extra to use. Worse, the research firm found that 53 percent of U.S. pay-TV customers still don't know that the industry's effort to move programming to mobile devices even exists. 

Of the 1,202 U.S. pay-TV customers who were polled, most of those who use TVE services -- 73 percent -- report high levels of satisfaction, saying that authenticated multiscreen access "makes them feel more positive about their TV provider."

Meanwhile, 84 percent of frequent TVE users say they're likely to keep subscribing to their current video provider a year from now, compared to only 66 percent who don't use TVE services.

But seven years after the initiative was first announced, the latest bad news about awareness appears to be damning -- especially when you consider that programmers like Comcast-owned NBCUniversal are venturing outside the confines of TVE to find mobile consumers with new OTT services like Seeso.

For more:
- read this Variety story
- read this Shodan study

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