Magazine article Marketing

Video on Demand

Magazine article Marketing

Video on Demand

Article excerpt

The video-on-demand brand is under pressure from Sky's Now TV launch.

The UK pay-TV movie market is developing as fast as streaming speeds are increasing. Netflix, the movieand TV-streaming service, started operations in the UK and Ireland in January, following successful launches in Canada, the US and Latin America.

Netflix charges pounds 5.99 a month for unlimited access to its library of films and selected TV shows on demand.

A multichannel ad campaign devised by MEC Global Solutions heralded its UK launch and included TV ads, radio promotion and digital activity.

Despite this high-profile campaign, and licensing deals with content providers including Disney, ITV, Channel 4 and BBC Worldwide, the service is struggling to gain traction in Britain. It is up against heavyweight rivals including Amazon-owned LoveFilm, which has 2m subscribers, Tesco's Blinkbox and a more recent entrant, BSkyB's Now TV.

The latter, which launched last month, offers Sky Movies without requiring users to subscribe to Sky's platform. BSkyB plans to add sports, entertainment and exclusive TV programmes later this year.

Reed Hastings, Netflix's chief executive, has admitted that competing effectively with Sky will be the brand's core challenge on this side of the Atlantic.

With competition from BSkyB set to intensify in the coming months, what can newcomer Netflix do to ensure it secures its place in the UK market?

We asked John Keeling, partner at search firm Blue Grace, who helped create the Film4 channel and was director of content and marketing for the SeeSaw platform, and Peter Worster, partner at Conduit (part of the VCCP partnership) and the former managing director of Quant Presky Maves, where he worked on the LoveFilm direct-marketing account.

NETFLIX STATS

1m Netflix subscribers in the UK and Ireland

530,000 streaming-service customers were added in the US in the second quarter of this year, which was 70,000 fewer than forecast

Source: Netflix

DIAGNOSIS

Two industry experts on how Netflix can get in tune with British consumers

JOHN KEELING, PARTNER, GRACE BLUE (former Film4 general manager and SeeSaw platform controller)

In January, Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, stated that the SeeSaw platform had 'failed due to a lack of focus' and that the US brand would not make the same mistake. …

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