Great results for Freesat and TalkTalk show there’s room to move at the cheaper end of British TV services.
Freesat has added 145,000 new homes – 15 per cent of its total users – in the past 12 months, and said it expects to keep growing faster than Sky or Virgin Media.
But TalkTalk showed there’s room for growth in pay-TV’s low end as it hoovered up 160,000 subscribers for its TalkTalk Plus TV bundle of broadband and YouView since March.
Freesat fires up fans with Free Time
Read more about Recombu Digital’s UK TV Customer League TableFreesat may be delighted with its rise to be the main TV service in 1.8m homes, but Recombu Digital’s sums suggest this could all be down to its new Free Time hybrid box.
Based on previous Freesat announcements, the majority of its new homes – around 100,000 – have arrived in the past three months.
Emma Scott, Freesat’s managing director, said: “Our continued strong results show thousands of people making the smart choice of Freesat as the alternative to expensive TV contracts.
“We continue to add new channels and on demand services and invest in cutting edge technology.
“We will soon deliver more features to our next generation Free Time service, including the addition of Demand 5, a remote app for smart phones, and in the future, additional movie and music channels.”
The consumer electronics industry has certainly been a winner: Freesat viewers have spent more than £1.2 billion buying 3.3 million boxes and TVs, since it launched in May 2008 – that’s about £666 per home.
TalkTalk toys with 400,000 TV homes
TalkTalk’s YouView-based TV service has reached more than 390,000 homes, with three-quarters of new arrivals previously relying on Freeview or Freesat for their viewing.
Streaming TV and music from the likes of BBC iPlayer and Spotify now accounts for 35 per cent of TalkTalk’s network traffic, peaking on Sundays.
Dido Harding, TalkTalk’s Chief Executive, said: “We’re fast becoming the natural home for
families seeking great value mass-market entertainment and starting their pay TV journey.
“For our loyal customers it’s a great way to upgrade from their existing TV service. New customers are connecting to TalkTalk for the first time too with feedback showing very high levels of satisfaction with every aspect of the service, from sign-up to installation, content available and the functionality of YouView which allows them to catch-up, search and record.”
TalkTalk TV’s built-in download library has proven a hit, with children’s channel Scamp now the second most popular within the TalkTalk TV Player, behind ABC On Demand.
A quarter of subscribers spend extra on either TalkTalk’s TV Boosts streaming channel packs, which can be rented on a monthly basis, or on pay-per-view films.
The Entertainment, Kids, and Sky Movies packs account for 90 per cent of added boosts, with Sky Sports making up just two per cent.
TV is looking like a big draw for the TalkTalk brand as a whole, with 25 per cent of new customers taking broadband and phone so they can have YouView as well.