YouView a "big mistake" for BT?
Nigel Walley, managing director of media consultancy Decipher, said: "I think subcontracting innovation to a third party - particularly a third party with its own retail aspirations - is very challenging.What does that mean? If BT has committed to YouView development for five years, isn't it thereby committed to keeping its box in line with the other YouView versions?
"The pace of change [in the pay TV market] is dramatically speeding up, which means you have to be in control of your total proposition," he said during a session at Wednesday's Media Playground....
"I think it's a big mistake," said Paul Scanlan, co-founder and president of MobiTV. "Maybe not so much for TalkTalk, but certainly for BT who has the technological capability to do this themselves. YouView ends up almost a liability."
One of the central problems, Scanlan said, is that BT is unable to fully compete with TalkTalk because if it wanted to innovate and push the boundaries of the platform's software, TalkTalk has to have the same innovation.
If BT had chosen to run its own platform instead, it could protect its innovation and act much more aggressively, Scanlan added.
However, Jon Block, ITV's controller of digital products, said BT has a much longer-term strategy in play as it looks to kick start a move into the triple-play - broadband, TV and telephone - market.
"BT needs to use YouView now as a leg-up into the market and become a viable competitor in triple-play in the mainstream," he said.
"Then, when the next [TV market] hardware cycle comes around, they can control their innovation."