TalkTalk has broken the million-home barrier just 18 months after launching its YouView-powered TV service – a goal that took BT seven years.
May 12 saw TalkTalk clock up its one millionth TV customer and confidently predicted that all its broadband customers will eventually take the TV option.
Total broadband customers grew by a steady 10,000 to just under 4.2m – the first time it’s grown solidly for a year since splitting from Carphone Warehouse in 2010.
TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding said: “I am delighted to report our first full year of revenue growth since demerger demonstrating that our strategy for growth is delivering. We have built a TV business with over one million customers in just 18 months – a quarter of our total customer base.
“We continue to grow faster than all the other UK TV operators put together and are confident that in time, all our customers will take TV.”
Harding also expanded on TalkTalk’s plans to build gigabit fibre networks in British cities reaching up to 10m homes to rival BT and Virgin Media, in a joint project with Sky and infrastructure provider CityFibre.
The YouView-based TalkTalk TV service added 687,000 customers from March 2013 to March 2014, with the same number predicted for the year to come.
A third of new TV customers are also new to TalkTalk, which the company attributes to the arrival of Essentials TV.
“The rate of additions accelerated through the year as awareness of our proposition grew,” TalkTalk added.
“The Plus TV proposition has continued to prove popular, both for existing customers wishing to upgrade from their Essentials phone and broadband packages, and for new to TalkTalk customers.
Most TalkTalk TV customers have upgraded from Freeview, and typically spend £9/month on pay-per-view film rentals or the pay-as-you-go TV Boosts.
Film rentals generate an average of £4 per month – one film – while TV Boosts provide about £11, but TV customers are also only half as likely to leave TalkTalk when their broadband contract expires.
TalkTalk Broadband and Fibre
While its broadband base grew to 4.19m customers, TalkTalk’s fibre users rose to 207,000 – adding 100,000 homes from the end of 2013.
It’s not high speeds that are driving customers onto FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) connections, but the chance to elevate their broadband to an acceptable level for TV.
With TV now in 25 per cent of TalkTalk homes, the average customer downloads 34GB of content a month compared to 23GB a year ago.
TalkTalk said: Bandwidth usage continues to grow rapidly: traffic on our network has almost trebled in the last three years, as customers use more devices and watch more video content online.
“However, at current prices and usage levels, demand for fibre from our customers remains modest because of the scale and capability of our existing network.
“With over 50 per cent of fibre customers also taking TV from us, demand is very much driven by customers whose overall experience can be transformed by taking fibre e.g. where distance from the exchange dictates copper speeds of less than 3Mbps.”
Image: Barbara M/Flickr