Authentication Remains Top of Mind for Providers

Despite its growth, TV Everywhere (TVE) still faces many challenges—such as gaining broader access to content, personalization, awareness, and authentication. Panelists at the TV of Tomorrow Show shared some wise words of advice for MSOs and programmers when they said that easing the authentication process for users was the key to TVE’s success.

Authentication is a critical piece of the TVE pie as it ensures that only consumers who have the rights to TVE content can access it. However, up until now, this process has been seen as intrusive or frustrating for many viewers as they are forced to juggle several different passwords for relationships with the same company. Moreover, the majority of consumers still lack TVE awareness. According to data from a recent Gfk study, only 34 percent of surveyed consumers were familiar with the term “authentication.”

“Ultimately, we need to remove the consumer from the authentication process,” Jeremy Helfand, vice president of video solutions at Adobe, said.  Matt Strauss, Comcast’s senior vice president and general manager of video services, added, “Authentication isn’t necessarily the problem. We have to make it easier.”

While companies like Comcast and Adobe have addressed at least part of this issue by offering a feature that automatically authenticates customers when they are accessing content on their home network with a PC, there are still some challenges. For example, as operators and programmers create features that are more tailored to individual consumers, they will have to start building deeper relationships with their consumers in order to understand their preferences.

If one thing was to be taken away from the panel it would be – keep the authentication process simple and success will follow.