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Insights into TVE Apps

Based on App Store feedback

Top 10 IOS Apps / Over 4000 comments / JAN 2015 - AUG 2016

SUMMARY

Scope

These insights should surface pain-points that all TVE Apps share, as per users reviews. Fixing these issues should be the first step in improving these applications and get them to deliver the experience that today’s users expect.

Methodology

These insights represent an informal, qualitative review of iOS applications. It is based on over 4000 AppStore user reviews collected between January 2015 and August 2016.

Context

Top 10 TVE iOS apps (as per Adobe Primetime authentication data) have been reviewed in this study.

MAIN ISSUES

Mentioned in user reviews

ADS

80%

PERFORMANCE

70%

USABILITY

40%

LOGIN

25%

1. T-V Ads

80%stat

Around 80% of reviews mention issues with Ads

PAIN POINTS

Almost every app is criticized for a frustrating experience in regards to commercials:

MAINLY:
  • Same number of commercials repeated too many times over a streamed show
  • Having ads appear all of a sudden, with sound full-on, usually louder than normal content
  • Too many ads
ALSO:
  • Having to rewatch ads after having already done so, if a show is restarted (eg app crashes)
  • Going full screen
  • Not being skippable
  • Being taken outside the app and not being easy to return

QUOTES

It’s not that there are a lot it’s just that they are The Same! Constantly from show to show! And they are never not having to do with this channel.
I’m beginning to hate the stuff that’s advertised and therefore will never buy the stuff.
Advertising is one thing. Pummeling your viewers with the same content until they lunge for the remote to switch off the volume or leave the app completely is a whole different story.
Having to miss game coverage because of car ads is infuriating.
[…]One episode, which I watched in four slices, reuquired me to go through roughly 22 ads.

Because of ads and technical issues users often end up spending almost double the duration of the show to actually watch it.

2. Performance Performance

70%stat

Around 70% of reviews contain complaints about Performance

PAIN POINTS

  • Users often mention apps working slowly
  • Mentions of apps crashing often
  • Commercials are often blamed for apps slowing down or crashing

QUOTES

My wifi always has three bars so I don’t know why the heck it keeps freezing and reloading.
Every time a commercial comes on it plays perfectly. When the show comes back on it skips, lags, fast forewards, reverses, buffers just in time for the next commercial.
“It is constantly crashing (every 5 minutes) and then it freezes my iPad for a couple more minutes. I have to exit the app, reload it, find my game and sit through more commercials before I can actually see the game again and then the cycle repeats.

3. Usability Usability

40%stat

Around 40% of reviews contain references to Usability Issues:

Interface Design, Features, Flows

PAIN POINTS

  • Users mention a lack of easy, accurate scrubbing
  • Some reviews mention apps not remembering where users left off
  • A lot of users mention not being able to cast the app on the TV (e.g. Google Chromecast option missing)

QUOTES

No way to resume if you have to stop?!?!?!
Scrubbing on the time bar for a two hour show, just to go back a few seconds, is a hopeless endeavor. Especially since the darn controls fade out after a few secons.
Searched for a show and it randomly selected episodes but not episode 2. After wsting my time with an ad ridden episode one, wasted ten minutes trying to find episode 2. Gave up, uninstalling this junk. Will watch the show on Netflix if it ends up there.

4. Login Login

25%stat

Around 25% of reviews mention issues with the Login Process

PAIN POINTS

  • Session expiration is a major complaint across All TVE Apps
  • Almost all the apps share the same login related complaints:
    • Users mention not enjoying signing in
    • Users mention hating having to sign in multiple times
    • Users complain about repeatedly signing in while at home
    • Some users complain about their provider not being listed

QUOTES

I have to login after every time I open the app and after every crash. I’ve logged in more than I’ve been able to watch.
I have a special needs eight year old, […]it was frustrating for our child when we had to re-log in every time he wanted to watch.
I never write reviews for apps unless they’re really horrible…and this is it. Can’t you just remember that I’ve already signed in? It’s called a token. Save the token.

Conclusions

It is amazing how TVE Apps have become extremely important in people’s lives. Also, it’s great to see the level of quality they expect from TVE apps. It shows that people genuinely care about these apps.

TVE apps are now replacing conventional TV
These high quality expectations are raising the stakes sky high for every actor in the TV ecosystem, adding to the challenge of pushing the industry forward into the digital era.

HOW TO IMPROVE

1. Ads

Viewers are expecting personalized ads delivered acording to the content they watch and their interests. They also expect as little of them as possible and delivered without issues in performance. We can help.

2. Performance

Users are expecting seamless transitions, no freezing, no buffering. We know that this is not always totally in your control, however it can drastically be improved through a better implementation with the TVE infrastructure.
Contact us for more details.

3. Usability

Users are expecting easy to use and personalised, interactive experiences from their TVE apps. While this is certainly not as easy as it sounds, it should become a prioritary focus. You can find some useful information in the CTAM Guidelines.

4. Login

Users are expecting to sign in as rarely as possible. We recommend working with your MVPD to address TTL configurations.
In the meantime, we at Adobe Primetime are also working hard to ensure the TVE platform continuous uptime and error-free environment.
Contact us for more details.