Since September I’ve been enjoying BT’s hideously under-sold Vision TV service and the more I do so the more I wonder at failure of VT bosses to trumpet the service’s key selling points.
While it’s true that the on demand service doesn’t offer first runs of major shows it does allow real lovers of TV to watch their favourite programmes without constant on-screen graffiti reminding one what’s on next or the annoyance of adverts breaking into the shows.
The presence of these, especially the so-called DOGs, are major gripes on almost every TV blog and discussion board I’ve ever read yet BT fails to utter a word about their absence on the Vision service.
Either Vision’s execs don’t realise what great selling points they are or their marketing bods believe they’re are obvious to the average punter in which case I suspect they’re wrong.
There’s also a bit of a missed opportunity going on, I know people who tuned into the second seasons of Beautiful People and Being Human never having seen an episode of the first series.
An on demand TV service has the potential to offer the first series of shows ahead of their return in a partnership which makes the service more appealing for viewers and helpful to broadcasters in growing their audiences. Equally big-screen sequels surely offer a chance for BT to advertise – even if only to its current subscribers – the availability of earlier entires in the series. Sadly, as with other potential growth drivers, these ideas don’t seem obvious to anyone within BT.
Instead of focussing on the own unique selling points of a TV service utterly unlike Sky, BT seems intent to focus its adverts on comparing the availability of films with Sky’s movie services and management time in bagging Sky’s football channels.
As with Virgin, BT need to wake up to the twin facts that almost everyone who wants Sky’s sports (and movie) channels already has them and buys them direct from Sky. BT Vision’s growth opportunities aren’t in being a Sky reseller, they’re in offering a service different to that on offer from the industry leader AND tell people about it.
You can be certain that while BT’s expending so much effort in securing Sky’s premium channels so it play at being the satellite broadcaster’s mini-me, Sky’s bosses are learning the lessons it can from Vision’s launch and take-up so it can apply them to its own set top box-based on demand service.
Vision deserves to be more than a R&D platform for another broadcaster’s service but it’s not clear BT has any real understanding of its potential or how to exploit it.