Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: Freeview Has Quietly Staked Its Claim of the Media Landscape

Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: Freeview Has Quietly Staked Its Claim of the Media Landscape

Article excerpt

By any standards it has been a purple patch in the media playpen. The many delights have included the use of psychometric testing, rather than genetic profiling, to find a chief executive of BSkyB.

Unfortunately, use of psychometric testing didn't become trendy in time to change ITV's history. Michael Green would never have passed the team-building and personality sections.

The fun and games at the top of ITV and BSkyB have obscured the quiet rise of Freeview, which last week celebrated its first anniversary. It hasn't attracted the tiniest fraction of the headlines devoted to Green and James Murdoch, partly because there's no identifiable big beast charge to personalise the issues. And it certainly hasn't spent any money on psychometric testing of the staff of four in the Freeview 'head office'.

No comprehensive statistics are kept on sales, but most surveys suggest the Freeview universe is now about two million homes, including the old ITV Digital boxes. The total is impressive and better than anyone would have imagined a year ago. The really interesting thing is the current run rate - 100,000 a month and rising. Sales didn't wilt during one of the hottest summers on record and as they accelerate toward Christmas, the 2.5 million target could easily be passed by the end of the year.

Everything about the Freeview proposition is simple and relatively inexpensive.

You can tell the often disbelieving viewers that yes, you really can get 30 or so digital television channels, widescreen and 21 radio stations for pounds 70, and sometimes as little as pounds 59. …

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