YouView a "big mistake" for BT?

c cc c Member Posts: 413
edited 6 March 2017, 9:48PM in Archived Posts
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.
"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."
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?

Comments

  • VisionmanVisionman Member, Super User Posts: 9,961 ✭✭✭
    edited 26 February 2017, 1:39PM
    "Then, when the next [TV market] hardware cycle comes around, they can control their innovation.
    cc>
    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?
    No cc, it isn't. Nor is anyone else, either. Each supplier can, in theory, offer a multitude of different spec boxes. Indeed those deviations have already started to appear, with the advent of a dumbed down zapper and an improved second generation YV box.
    I'm now happy with the disagree icon, because its gone.
  • c cc c Member Posts: 413
    edited 9 July 2014, 11:05PM
    Visionman said:

    "Then, when the next [TV market] hardware cycle comes around, they can control their innovation.

    cc>
    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?
    No cc, it isn't. Nor is anyone else, either. Each supplier can, in theory, offer a multitude of different spec boxes. Indeed those deviations have already started to appear, with the advent of a dumbed down zapper and an improved second generation YV box.Oh hell... :-(

    I'm with PlusNet. Been waiting and waiting for them to stop their endless YouView trial and launch a service, and hopefully start handing out the new BT YouView box.

    But from what you say, there's no knowing what that box might turn into, if BT starts said innovations. PlusNet might have to use a different box, or not subsidise the boxes at all.

    I guess they're trialling with the DTR-T1010, as the 2110 wasn't out when this trial started. Longest trial known to man, considering they're not developing or debugging and their masters at BT know all about YouView already. Grrr!!
  • RoyRoy Member, Super User Posts: 16,387 ✭✭✭
    edited 6 March 2017, 9:48PM
    Total bean curd from start to finish. These pundits from microscopically sized entities are speaking from their nether orifices. BT had its own platform, BT Vision. How hard would it have been, if these self-styled experts were right, to extend this platform into whatever BT wanted it to be, YouView rival, or even killer, if that was the way to go?
    Back to my usual level of bafflement, then...
  • VisionmanVisionman Member, Super User Posts: 9,961 ✭✭✭
    edited 21 December 2016, 11:05PM
    Roy1 said:

    Total bean curd from start to finish. These pundits from microscopically sized entities are speaking from their nether orifices. BT had its own platform, BT Vision. How hard would it have been, if these self-styled experts were right, to extend this platform into whatever BT wanted it to be, YouView rival, or even killer, if that was the way to go?

    Agree. The comments are total tosh. Both BT and TalkTalk fully support YouView. It is a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship, nothing more. 
    I'm now happy with the disagree icon, because its gone.
  • c cc c Member Posts: 413
    edited 9 July 2014, 11:05PM
    Roy1 said:

    Total bean curd from start to finish. These pundits from microscopically sized entities are speaking from their nether orifices. BT had its own platform, BT Vision. How hard would it have been, if these self-styled experts were right, to extend this platform into whatever BT wanted it to be, YouView rival, or even killer, if that was the way to go?

    BT had its own platform, BT Vision. How hard would it have been, if these self-styled experts were right, to extend this platform into whatever BT wanted it to be, YouView rival, or even killer, if that was the way to go?
    That's what they're suggesting, isn't it? That BT might have made the wrong decision. Maybe BT never thought TalkTalk would ever become serious competition.
  • TomWTomW Member Posts: 507 ✭✭
    edited 27 November 2016, 6:35PM
    Visionman said:

    "Then, when the next [TV market] hardware cycle comes around, they can control their innovation.

    cc>
    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?
    No cc, it isn't. Nor is anyone else, either. Each supplier can, in theory, offer a multitude of different spec boxes. Indeed those deviations have already started to appear, with the advent of a dumbed down zapper and an improved second generation YV box.I'm also with Plusnet and getting fed up of waiting for the endless trial to complete. Having said that I only want it so I can get BT Sport so there is now no incentive to sign up until the football season starts again in August.
  • RoyRoy Member, Super User Posts: 16,387 ✭✭✭
    edited 7 December 2016, 7:39AM
    Roy1 said:

    Total bean curd from start to finish. These pundits from microscopically sized entities are speaking from their nether orifices. BT had its own platform, BT Vision. How hard would it have been, if these self-styled experts were right, to extend this platform into whatever BT wanted it to be, YouView rival, or even killer, if that was the way to go?

    Interesting line of speculation, c c.

    So BT might have thought that it was going to be able to wag the dog (YouView) right from the start, and would be the only game in town?

    But it has found that
    (a) it isn't the only game, due to the rise of TalkTalk as you describe
    and
    (b) even though it has found that it and TalkTalk can wag the dog (indeed, practically are the dog now) to a much greater extent than we thought, which neither we retail users nor the BBC Trust are entirely comfortable with, BT has still expressed its frustration that the amount of control it had was too low.

    So in a marketplace in which it has this unexpected competitor, on a platform where it only hopes to have more control, and in which there are powerful arguments that the technical direction that YouView has taken has not turned out to be the optimum one, it is not boosting its BT Vision box - did indeed at one point take it off all its advertising, though I see it is back now - except as a stopgap while it sorts out an issue with Sky?

    The only deduction I can make from this is that the costs of such development of the BT Vision box must be so enormous that BT has been happy to let YouView shoulder this burden for it, even at the expense of giving up a significant amount of control.

    However, this is countered by BT now agreeing to shoulder a much greater share of these costs, albeit in tandem with the upstart TalkTalk, whose competitiveness BT must now be fully aware of.

    But unless the whale is wrong and the minnows are right, BT has determined that the path of partial control and shared development of YouView will do more for its bottom line than the path of total control and individual development of BT Vision.

    And trying to get its bottom line right is something it has a duty to shareholders to do. So to suggest BT haven't got this right, as per the report you posted originally, is a pretty serious accusation for the minnows to make.

    However, if they are right, then yes, TalkTalk will be laughing all the way to the bank, as TT gets to pay only half what it might have for YouView development, while its competitor shackles itself to making largely the same offering, instead of something different, and possibly superior.

    But either way, I think this is a play about content, and as long as the YouView platform doesn't restrict BT's ability to serve content unduly, they will be more than happy.

    On which note, it will be interesting to see if the product differentiation of BT's arguably superior new YouView box is enough to swing any subscribers undecided between or unhappy with BT and TT, or if they might as well be Tweedledum and Tweedledee in this wise, and the decision will be based on other differentiators.

    Like price, for instance.
    Back to my usual level of bafflement, then...
  • edited 8 January 2015, 3:54PM
    Roy1 said:

    Total bean curd from start to finish. These pundits from microscopically sized entities are speaking from their nether orifices. BT had its own platform, BT Vision. How hard would it have been, if these self-styled experts were right, to extend this platform into whatever BT wanted it to be, YouView rival, or even killer, if that was the way to go?

    I thought this whole deal for TalkTalk and BT was primarily about hooking people into broadband packages. Isn't that where the big money is?

    image
  • c cc c Member Posts: 413
    edited 9 July 2014, 11:05PM
    Roy1 said:

    Total bean curd from start to finish. These pundits from microscopically sized entities are speaking from their nether orifices. BT had its own platform, BT Vision. How hard would it have been, if these self-styled experts were right, to extend this platform into whatever BT wanted it to be, YouView rival, or even killer, if that was the way to go?

    But either way, I think this is a play about content, and as long as the YouView platform doesn't restrict BT's ability to serve content unduly, they will be more than happy.
    Been thinking about this overnight. I definitely agree with you that it's all about content. Content is the weak spot for all of them - BT, TalkTalk, Sky, Virgin. They all rely on free-to-air content for the bulk of their offer, be it scheduled or VOD.

    And who is the king of free-to-air content? The BBC, followed by ITV. When the BBC first developed the iPlayer, and then started talking about an open standard for VOD, maybe BT just concluded this was something it couldn't afford not to be a part of, and try to control.
  • c cc c Member Posts: 413
    edited 9 July 2014, 11:05PM
    Roy1 said:

    Total bean curd from start to finish. These pundits from microscopically sized entities are speaking from their nether orifices. BT had its own platform, BT Vision. How hard would it have been, if these self-styled experts were right, to extend this platform into whatever BT wanted it to be, YouView rival, or even killer, if that was the way to go?

    I thought this whole deal for TalkTalk and BT was primarily about hooking people into broadband packages. Isn't that where the big money is?
    To hook customers, you need a good hook.
  • scottscott Member, Super User Posts: 2,101 ✭✭✭
    edited 29 November 2016, 10:48AM
    Roy1 said:

    Total bean curd from start to finish. These pundits from microscopically sized entities are speaking from their nether orifices. BT had its own platform, BT Vision. How hard would it have been, if these self-styled experts were right, to extend this platform into whatever BT wanted it to be, YouView rival, or even killer, if that was the way to go?

    BT Sport is BT's big broadband hook (and it is working pretty well - take a look at the share of BB customers in the last quarter) also quad play is BT's next big hook. So TV is a part of that quad play but it is only a part they just need a decent platform that does not hinder them and then they will add content and features on top of that to hook the customer..something other TV platform's can't compete with...

    So I don't believe BT need a separate hardware platform, just one that works and they can add content to..something I think YouView does pretty well.

    As you say the FTA stuff is always the big number (BBC/ITV) and YouView show that pretty well. Then BT can use the Portal (totally under there control) to add content and differentiate thier offering. I don't think they do that enough at the minute but come 1st July when the new CEO steps in maybe that will change...

  • c cc c Member Posts: 413
    edited 9 July 2014, 11:05PM
    Roy1 said:

    Total bean curd from start to finish. These pundits from microscopically sized entities are speaking from their nether orifices. BT had its own platform, BT Vision. How hard would it have been, if these self-styled experts were right, to extend this platform into whatever BT wanted it to be, YouView rival, or even killer, if that was the way to go?

    BT can control what it adds behind its paywall (Sky channels for instance) but it can't stop the same content being added outside the paywall, available to all YouView users with or without a BT broadband sub.
  • scottscott Member, Super User Posts: 2,101 ✭✭✭
    edited 29 November 2016, 10:48AM
    Roy1 said:

    Total bean curd from start to finish. These pundits from microscopically sized entities are speaking from their nether orifices. BT had its own platform, BT Vision. How hard would it have been, if these self-styled experts were right, to extend this platform into whatever BT wanted it to be, YouView rival, or even killer, if that was the way to go?

    And BT couldn't stop that being added to YouView if BT had it's own TV platform.

    You seem to have ignored the main purpose of my response about TV not being the hook just a small piece of the overall proposition..

    Sky channels are already available from TALK TALK on YouView or from SKY themselves or by a £10 NowTV box if people are so keen to have them.

     Take a look at how many BB customers Talk Talk/Sky/Virgin added last quarter and then tell me who's play to gain BB customers seems to be working best.
  • c cc c Member Posts: 413
    edited 9 July 2014, 11:05PM
    Roy1 said:

    Total bean curd from start to finish. These pundits from microscopically sized entities are speaking from their nether orifices. BT had its own platform, BT Vision. How hard would it have been, if these self-styled experts were right, to extend this platform into whatever BT wanted it to be, YouView rival, or even killer, if that was the way to go?

    Sorry, I didn't deliberately ignore your point about quad play, it's just not what I was thinking about.

    It's not "who's winning, BT or TalkTalk" but "why did BT opt for a shared platform rather than developing its own box over which it would have total control"

    It's all mere speculation.
  • scottscott Member, Super User Posts: 2,101 ✭✭✭
    edited 29 November 2016, 10:48AM
    Roy1 said:

    Total bean curd from start to finish. These pundits from microscopically sized entities are speaking from their nether orifices. BT had its own platform, BT Vision. How hard would it have been, if these self-styled experts were right, to extend this platform into whatever BT wanted it to be, YouView rival, or even killer, if that was the way to go?

    BT tried its own box/platform as Roy has said and found it difficult to gain TV share and would have been hard to interest the main players (BBC/ITV) into innovating into it. With YouView the main players have a vested interest and therefore BT get thier innovations (Connected Red Button/Enhanched iPlayer) without really asking and at cost that is shared between 7 companies (albeit at different rates) and still have a separate way to add specific content that can only be achieved by a subscription to themselves. All in all I think it is a smart move, YouView is becoming a known name (with more subscribers than a BT alone product would achieve) and BT can still add thier Specific content while adding in other items (mobile/broadband/phone). It is a proven fact that lots of people will go for a 'one bill quad play package' if it is available (no matter what the TV platform is) and BT are best placed to offer that..


    I would suggest (IMHO) that already more people have heard about the YouView TV platform than ever really knew about the BT Vision TV platfom

  • c cc c Member Posts: 413
    edited 9 July 2014, 11:05PM
    Roy1 said:

    Total bean curd from start to finish. These pundits from microscopically sized entities are speaking from their nether orifices. BT had its own platform, BT Vision. How hard would it have been, if these self-styled experts were right, to extend this platform into whatever BT wanted it to be, YouView rival, or even killer, if that was the way to go?

    Broadcast TV is on the way out, as the spectrum is going to be sold to mobile. That raises a big question mark over the future of the BBC and its huge archive. That might help to explain why BT might have felt, as I said, that YouView was a venture it couldn't afford not to be part of, and try to shape to suit BT's needs.

    Which it spectacularly did, with the result that multicast (which only benefits BT and BT's captive users) was prioritised as YouView's first major post-launch development, while we're still waiting for unicast (which could have grown the "open access" appeal of YouView and thus helped the retail sales).
  • scottscott Member, Super User Posts: 2,101 ✭✭✭
    edited 29 November 2016, 10:48AM
    Roy1 said:

    Total bean curd from start to finish. These pundits from microscopically sized entities are speaking from their nether orifices. BT had its own platform, BT Vision. How hard would it have been, if these self-styled experts were right, to extend this platform into whatever BT wanted it to be, YouView rival, or even killer, if that was the way to go?

    At the end of the day it is not fancy innovations that are the main stay of a good TV platform it is content.

    If BT were to add into the EPG BT1 HD, BT Living HD, BT Atlantic HD channels showing exclusive first run content and only available to BTTV subscribers they can on the YouView platform and that is what would bring the customers and would be exclusive to BT even though it is on the same platform as TALK TALK use. It is all about how much money to spend on content against how much it would bring you in in subscriptions..BT haven't really done this YET...

    They can still innovate (Movies to buy for example - they beat SKY to that one) and BT Channels on the move (BT Sport APP - why couldn't that be expanded to show BT subscription only channels).

  • VisionmanVisionman Member, Super User Posts: 9,961 ✭✭✭
    edited 21 December 2016, 11:05PM
    Roy1 said:

    Total bean curd from start to finish. These pundits from microscopically sized entities are speaking from their nether orifices. BT had its own platform, BT Vision. How hard would it have been, if these self-styled experts were right, to extend this platform into whatever BT wanted it to be, YouView rival, or even killer, if that was the way to go?

    I agree with all scotts comments about BT, quadplay and content.

    YouView was/is manna from heaven for the ISPs. The best of both worlds. With users having the option of both subscription paid for services and retail paid for and free ones.

    BT Vision is a failure, in terms of user numbers, but YouView is now coming into the public conscious and mainstream. And they'll get the millions of users they want eventually. YouView is the future for/of both free and pay lite TV. A pay model thats never been tried before, and it'll work, because it places all the choices into the hands of the user, not the platform.


    I'm now happy with the disagree icon, because its gone.
  • VisionmanVisionman Member, Super User Posts: 9,961 ✭✭✭
    edited 4 March 2017, 9:29AM
    Information for cc - Plusnet are trialling retail T1000 boxes, but I don't know what they'll launch with. 
    I'm now happy with the disagree icon, because its gone.
  • edited 8 January 2015, 3:54PM
    Visionman said:

    Information for cc - Plusnet are trialling retail T1000 boxes, but I don't know what they'll launch with. 

    I think there's a 99% probability that it will be the DTR- T2100 possibly with a different logo on the front.

    image
  • c cc c Member Posts: 413
    edited 9 July 2014, 11:05PM
    Visionman said:

    Information for cc - Plusnet are trialling retail T1000 boxes, but I don't know what they'll launch with. 

    They might just run the service without offering a free/subsidised box. :-(
  • KeithKeith Member, Super User Posts: 2,442 ✭✭✭
    edited 21 December 2016, 10:30PM
    Visionman said:

    Information for cc - Plusnet are trialling retail T1000 boxes, but I don't know what they'll launch with. 

    It might be nice if they offered two options, one with an inclusive box and a cheaper option for content only that might appeal to those that already have a box (whether bought retail or acquired via BT or TalkTalk and now out of contract). Given how cheaply BT and TalkTalk are providing boxes though I would expect it makes sense for Plusnet to also keep it simple and have a single price that includes the box even if that may not always be the cheapest option for all customers in the long run. If Plusnet were to use the Humax DTR T1000 box (seems unlikely) then I personally would not want it as even though they would replace it for free if it failed I would not want to risk suffering yet again from lost content and inconvenience (from a box/model that has let me down on several occasions in the past).
  • c cc c Member Posts: 413
    edited 9 July 2014, 11:05PM
    Visionman said:

    Information for cc - Plusnet are trialling retail T1000 boxes, but I don't know what they'll launch with. 

    I guess you're right, they'll probably include a box. I thought Kingston had a YouView content-only service, but when I looked just now at their website it seems they do include a box (monthly charge).

    I'm guessing, but I wouldn't think PN would offer the DTR-T1000. Maybe the T1010, if there's still a lot of that model available. But I hope they'll want to keep in line with whatever BT has planned for the new box, and so will be offering a version of that. That would be ideal! :-)
  • VisionmanVisionman Member, Super User Posts: 9,961 ✭✭✭
    edited 21 December 2016, 11:05PM
    Visionman said:

    Information for cc - Plusnet are trialling retail T1000 boxes, but I don't know what they'll launch with. 

    Kcom have had IP EPG space allocated and reserved for them as an option for take up. Interesting.
    I'm now happy with the disagree icon, because its gone.
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