The U.K.’s top cable MSO, Virgin Media (News - Alert), is launching a new cloud-based TV service for customers, dubbed “Virgin TV Anywhere.”
If it sounds similar to the “TV Everywhere” nomenclature familiar from cable and satellite pay-TV operators in the United States, there’s a reason for that. The idea is to offer subscription content on multiple screens, like tablets, smartphones and the Web, at home and on the go.
"Our subscribers are increasingly looking to access their favorite digital entertainment across multiple screens,” said Cindy Rose, executive director of Digital Entertainment at Virgin Media.
And indeed they are. The rollout is a solid strategy in a market that is working its way into the mature stages of digital distribution. Satellite leader BskyB’s Sky Go service offers access across screens to its paid content, the BBC iPlayer has become a model for on-the-go access, YouView is trying to leverage the over-the-top (OTT) on-demand multiscreen opportunity, and TalkTalk has a YouView-enabled multiscreen service that is helping it, it said, sign up 1,000 customers per day. Then there is of course Netflix and Amazon’s LOVEFiLM video-on-demand (VOD) streaming service.
“Multiscreen services have seen amazing growth over the past year in Europe and Asia,” said Brett Sappington, director, research, Parks Associates (News - Alert). “Motivated by consumer consumption trends and competitive forces, pay-TV providers are positioning themselves to be players in video services on any screen. Tomorrow's winners in TV Everywhere will be the companies that discover the right mix of business model, content availability, and quality experience.”
The service is enabled through Virgin’s partnership with TiVo (News - Alert), which has been deployed to more than one million subscribers since its launch in December 2010. The next generation will be a cloud-based TiVo experience that will give subscribers access to live program viewing online, and on tablet and mobile phone devices through a free downloadable iOS app. Android (News - Alert) support will follow in 2013. Consumers will also have the ability to remotely manage their DVR content and interface directly with their TVs through these devices.
“Our partnership with TiVo has always been about much more than just delivering the industry's best in-home hybrid television experience to our subscribers, but also leveraging TiVo's pioneering technology to deliver exciting new products to bring customers a compelling entertainment experience to enjoy whenever they want, wherever they are,” said Rose.Tara Seals has over thirteen years of experience as a journalist. Her areas of expertise cover the waterfront of the service provider segment, especially mobile networks, devices and applications; and video infrastructure, content and broadcast models.
Edited by Rich Steeves