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Industry reacts to YouView launch

YouView has finally declared its intention to launch after four years of sometimes protracted labour. Yet despite the time lag industry reaction has been largely positive.

David Elms, Head of Media at KPMG, said the company’s research indicated the appetite for streaming services was on the increase, particularly among the young.

“The growing awareness, usage and inclination to pay for content seems to indicate that YouView and other streaming services have got their timing right. The foundations for online streaming services to be successful appear to be set and these services will continue the evolution we are seeing in people’s viewing habits and reinforce the strength of television.

Futuresource Consulting said there was an additional market of over 10 million homes, in addition to the target market of BT Vision and TalkTalk customers.

“The challenge may be that there are already many alternative ways for consumers to access content and it may prove difficult to get people to pay a relatively high price for yet another set top box”.

Suranga Chandratillake, CEO of blinkx, commented: “The real promise is that the way YouView will be able to facilitate truly interconnected experiences with augmented television playback, potentially allowing fans of the same shows to connect, digest more programme information and even purchase on-screen products. Making it easier for consumers to access web-based non TV content sources will lead to some fundamental changes to the media landscape that both brands and consumers will need to adapt too.”

Olivier Wolf, Partner at Greenwich Consulting sumarised what many had been saying in recent weeks: “Had this launched in 2010, the service would have been a clear success: once dubbed the ‘next generation Freeview,’ YouView has been heavily backed by big-hitting industry players. YouView is launching to a very different market, in which all consumers have moved to Digital Terrestrial Television and many of them already subscribe to various OTT services. Getting them to buy into a whole new service will be no mean-feat. The set-top boxes on show today look promising, and no doubt plenty of marketing budget will be plunged into making YouView a hit by the end of the year.”

However, given the disparate services available elsewhere, Wolf believes the launch may have come at just the right time.