Richard Halton urges broadcasters to ‘figure out how they co-exist’ with Google and Amazon
YouView chief executive Richard Halton believes the commercial PSBs need to go further than a joint streaming service and link up with the likes of Amazon and Google if they are to grow.
A Guardian report over the weekend said that the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV, along with NBC Universal, were in talks over a new combined UK streaming service.

A previous attempt at this, dubbed Project Kangaroo, was mooted in 2007 but blocked by the competition regulator two years later. Last year, the BBC and ITV jointly launched BritBox in the US.
“I would certainly say a streaming service is something they should be looking at very hard, but this on its own is not the answer,” Halton told Broadcast.

He said that as well as collaborating on a streaming service, broadcasters must continue to innovative in linear TV using the likes of addressable advertising, and invest in growing technologies such as Amazon and Google voice control and connected home devices.

“The broadcasters need to continue to collaborate more widely on other platforms,” he added.
“They do that already with YouView and need to think about how they work with Amazon and Google. It’s not about taking them on and winning – it’s about figuring out how they co-exist.”

YouView viewers can use voice control to search and access programmes following a pilot with the Amazon Alexa device.
Halton said that as OTT viewing only represents around 10% of UK-wide viewing as a whole, a joint streaming service would be “necessary but not sufficient”.

Pauline Robson, managing director of media agency MediaCom said that while a PSB-led streaming service would not come as a shock to the industry, it would be a significant move.

“The plan to join forces is interesting and isn’t something we’ve seen on this scale before,” she said.
“It won’t be easy to take a group of competitors and create a great joint service out of it but if it works, it’s a hugely positive move for the media industry and certainly for viewers.”

She added that for any service to be successful it would need to create content to rival the likes of Netflix’s Stranger Things and HBO’s Westworld.
The BBC has ramped up its talks over PSB collaboration of late, with its deputy director general Anne Bulford recently calling for a “golden age of partnerships”.
The corporation published data in March that found 16-24s are now spending more time viewing Netflix than accessing the BBC’s portfolio of services.
The BBC, ITV and C4 all refused to comment on current plans for a joint streaming service.

Source: YouView

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By Expat