Speaking at the OTTtv World Summit yesterday, Freeview marketing director, Owen Jenkinson, described OTT services as a “fantastic complement” to Freeview Play and said they present “an alternative option for the growing middle-ground audience, for whom ability and value are key drivers of choice.”
Freeview Play, which is available on set-top boxes and connected TVs, already offers on-demand services like BBC iPlayer, the ITV Hub and All 4, alongside apps like YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime.
However, Jenkinson said that fully integrating these services into the Freeview Play ecosystem, as opposed to doing a “softer marketing partnership” is “quite difficult for a number of reasons”.
“Every single piece of Freeview Play equipment that’s available now also has Netflix and Amazon built in. With the launch of LG Freeview Play TVs last week you can also get Now TV. So all this stuff sits alongside Freeview Play currently. There is a debate as to whether that needs to be deeper integrated,” said Jenkinson.
He claimed that while Freeview research indicates the likes of Netflix and Amazon are not “driving significant churn just yet”, partnering with these services might positively effect Freeview Play as it gives viewers more choice and does things like “reduce the perception of Freeview as a bit basic”.