11/5/2009 4:20:00 PM
Virgin Media’s ‘quad play’ shows the appetite for on-demand TV
Virgin Media’s ‘quad’ or ‘four play’ strategy seems to be paying dividends – 10% of its customer base has now signed up for fixed line, mobile, broadband and TV services. Not only that, but customers’ hunger for faster broadband and on-demand TV has increased its average revenue per user (ARPU) by 5%.
True, Virgin is hardly the biggest player on the telecoms block in terms of overall subscribers, but it might be onto something with quad play. Which begs the question – is anyone else going to follow its example? That’s not to suggest the mobile networks are going to set up their own TV stations, or vice versa, but a partnering deal or MVNO is perfectly feasible. Coming from the other direction, Sky already offers TV, fixed line and broadband, so why shouldn’t it be taking the idea of a mobile MVNO seriously, as some have speculated?
There may be some doubt over customer demand for watching live TV events on mobile, but popularity of the BBC’s iPlayer, 4oD and others such as ITV Player and Demand Five shows there is an appetite for watching programmes after their scheduled transmission times.
Virgin obviously believes there are plenty of people who’d be happy to catch up on their favourite programmes on their mobiles. And the company looks to be in just the right place to catch the wave. The technology to watch on-demand TV is proven and thanks to the advent of the smartphone, mobile phones are now a good enough platform to watch programmes on the move.
The networks are desperate to find more ways to get us to increase our data usage via our phones to boost their ARPU. On-demand TV could be one way of doing just that. It’ll be fascinating to see if anyone takes up the challenge.