TVE or TVEE? TV Everything, Everywhere: are we confusing the consumer?

TV Everything, Everywhere

Are we confusing the consumer?

For those in the media industry, we all know why certain programs are only available on certain devices at certain times.  But what is the consumer expectation?

In the 1990s, with PPV windows, the public had a sense that the PPV movies were a bit “old”, and perhaps they also sensed that airplane and hotel movies were a bit more recent.  Those were the simple days.

“What is available, on what terms, and when” has never been more convoluted.

Examples of the current consumer offers

Three random examples:

1)    House of Cards was created for Netflix for two seasons, and is available for free on Netflix to those that pay the Netflix monthly subscription fee. But HoC is now on Xfinity on Demand to buy for $2.99 per HD episode. Of course, only the first season is offered by Comcast. (Everyone understands that, right?)

2)    HBO GO is available to Comcast subscribers who subscribe to HBO on their Pay-TV package, and can be viewed on iPhone, Android, tablets, laptop PCs and Macs.  But not on Roku.  (This is not the case if the consumer buys an HBO subscription from Time Warner, Charter, Cablevision, DirecTV, Dish or dozens of others.) ???

3)    HBO content is soon to be available on Amazon Prime.  But (read the fine print) the deal says that only HBO programming that is more than three years past its original airdate will be available. So, when the customer hears the news about HBO / Amazon in the press, and goes to Amazon Prime, they will expect to see Game of Thrones, but it won’t be there for a very long time.

(It is difficult to keep this straight even for those of us that do this for a living.) I am certain there are many more examples.

The new world we live in:

I have observed anecdotally that when 20somethings or teens are discussing a TV show, video or song, they search for it on YouTube.  Whether it is a musical number, awards show segment, or a single scene from a movie or TV show, (whether from last night or from 1963) they expect it to be there.  And most often it is! (legally or not).

The expectation of TV Everything Everywhere is already ingrained in their mindset.

What are your thoughts on how the consumer can access what they are looking for (without footnotes explaining the rules)?