YouView’s hometown was again the beautiful backdrop for a fantastic week of channel tuning sport last week at the former Olympic Stadium.
I had the pleasure of taking up a seat to see established heroes and rising stars battle it out for glory at the IAAF World Championships. Standing in that inspiring stadium, consumed with the noise and energy of the crowd, it took my mind back to July 2012 and the day before the Olympic opening ceremony, when after many months of our own blood, sweat and tears, our first generation set top box hit the stores of John Lewis on Oxford Street. Five years on, it seems timely to give you an update on all things YouView and our achievements in our short history.
With nearly three million connected YouView devices in active use up and down the country, we have grown in scale, grown our portfolio of content and grown the functions and features that give our viewers an ever-improving television experience. YouView has always been at the forefront of innovation in the market; only a few weeks ago we announced the start of our pilot to enable a voice controlled YouView experience as one of the first developers in the world to work with the new Alexa Video Skill API. Our landmark free Next Generation upgrade brought all of our set top box viewers a new, slicker and faster experience powered by our new cloud infrastructure, we were the first broadcast platform of scale in the UK to fully embrace the technology across the whole platform. Shortly after that, yet another first as we became the inaugural home for Sony’s Kids Player. But we have always been pioneers – launching Europe’s first Ultra HD set top box and the UK’s first 4k-streamed channel, our first television integration with a ground-breaking partnership with Sony TV and the first platform to go live with the BBC’s Red Button+ Service ahead of the Rio Olympic games.
We’re delighted with the reaction thus far to Next Generation YouView and thrilled to receive industry recognition too. Just last week we were shortlisted for the DTVE Content Innovation Awards in the category of ‘Advanced TV Innovation of the Year’ following a double win at the Mediatel Connies Awards – Gold for ‘International Contribution to User Experience’ and Silver for ‘Best TV/Video Service Update or Launch’, and shortlisted for the TV Connect ‘Best Cloud-Based Video Service’ Award.
Supported by our shareholders, some of the best-known media and telecoms businesses in the UK, we are delighted to be able to support and drive their ambitions. This is reflected in our combined achievements which have brought home the silverware too – TalkTalk won the public choice Award for ‘TV Provider of the Year’ at this year’s uSwitch Awards and we powered the BT win for ‘Best Content Discovery Service’ at the TV Connect Awards.
The capability of our Next Generation platform goes well beyond the new interface and you will see more from us in the coming months as we really leverage our cloud capability. Alongside our consistently positive CSAT scores with near 90% of our viewers being satisfied with their viewer experience, we now have a better understanding of not only what our viewers watch but how they find it across Linear, PVR and On Demand. To give you just a flavour, of those that watched the live broadcast of the documentary ‘I Am Bolt’ on YouView, 60% of them then tuned in to the live Athletics on the night of Saturday 5th August, the evening of the 100m final. YouView now has a pivotal role to play in enhancing understanding of the UK consumer and how they make choices about how they consume media.
Recent industry announcements from Facebook and YouTube on their TV streaming services only underline the importance of YouView as a UK content aggregator. Providing a neutral platform to showcase both free and pay content is vital and we’re delighted to see so many content providers realise that benefit, with more to come.
All of our achievements are only possible by the just over 200 highly skilled individuals working at YouView to give great content the best experience. As the team has grown over the years we have championed new talent, developing our internship and graduate schemes giving opportunity to the innovators of the future, both of which I am pleased to say are over subscribed every year. We continue to look for great talent as we build the team.
Thank you for taking the time to keep up to date and I look forward to sharing more news with you again soon.
To keep up to date with all that is YouView please go to https://www.youview.com/press-and-news/ or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.