“It’s competitive issues that consumers don’t care about but the companies do,” Tice said. “We saw that Chromecast comes up short in terms of video-related apps, and it really showed in the way people with Chromecast stopped using it.” Sixteen percent of users were inactive.
Producers with the best content will win as digital viewing becomes more prevalent, Tice said. Consequently, a company like HBO, which will unbundle its HBO GO service, has strong standing.
While digital media players are popular, the difference in device use between Roku and Chromecast users indicates the importance of quality content. In the immediate future, it’s unlikely that all live TV content will become available through such players. For certain advertisers, that may be a deal breaker.
The major networks only offer viewing through digital media players if the user authenticates through their pay TV provider. If these companies were to go at it alone, “it means going into competition with existing clients, and that’s a balancing act and a step no one has been wanting to make,” Tice said.