YouView’s boss has pitched it as the heir to Freeview with a target of pinching 6.5 million Freeview homes with broadband connections.
Richard Halton said streaming video services like Netflix and Lovefilm could enjoy five times as much usage if they join YouView to get onto TV screens.
“Freeview has been a massive success and taken those who want linear TV, HD and recording to a great place,” he told TV industry magazine Broadcast (paywall).
“YouView can now take that on. It’s the first platform in the UK that’s ever had a really strong commitment and been resourced to develop and evolve.”
Read Recombu Digital’s guide to YouViewYouView’s Android and iOS remote record app is primed for further development as a remote control, along with features on the box such as playlists and favourite shows, which point the way to a TiVo-style smart box which recommends shows.
Also in the pipeline is a low-cost ‘zapper’ box with a single tuner and no recording capabilities, and Halton is keen to set up partnerships with TV manufacturers for a YouView TV.
In the 400,000 homes which have taken up YouView since it launched in July 2012, viewers watch an average of seven on-demand TV shows a week, lasting about three hours.
With apps for Dave, Really, and Yesterday set to join Sky’s Now TV and the TVXflix adult player on YouView this year, Halton said the big names in the streaming TV business will need to come on board as well.
“The likes of Netflix and Lovefilm have lacked access to the screen, which people spend 25 hours a week in front of,” he said.
“Tablets may outsell TVs, but if you’re a big player considering VoD, you need to have a good slice of the time people spend watching TV. YouView is important because of the scale of VoD usage as well as its reach.”