Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Why Netflix could become the killer app for Virgin Media's TiVo

Coming soon to Virgin Media's TiVo?
Yesterday's announcement of Netflix's expansion into the UK leads to the question: Will there be a Netflix app for Virgin Media's TiVo?

Ignoring the fact that Netflix's hopefully cheap, stream-all-you-want business model could become a serious competitor for Pay TV services in the UK (as it has done in the US), there's no reason why - technically - should an app wouldn't be possible. In fact, the TiVo Premiere (which Virgin's TiVo is based on) already has a Netflix app.

The potential ace up Virgin's sleeve is the 10Mb dedicated broadband connection for TiVo. There's no caps or STMing for this connection, so users of a Virgin TiVo Netflix app wouldn't have to worry about blasting through their broadband caps while streaming a blockbuster movie in HD - unlike users of any other playback device using a normal broadband connection. Nor would Virgin TiVo customers have to worry about playback being affected by other networked devices sharing that broadband connection.

If Netflix will be able to get enough content in place, and if Virgin can indeed do a deal with Netflix - remains to be seen. We're still waiting on the much-wished-for Lovefilm app.


Nialli said...

It's an interesting development to be sure, but I think the Filmflex contract may get in the way of them offering on VM - not sure of the T&Cs on that one.

martine93 said...

Lovefilm is supposedly coming to Tivo by Christmas.


amh15 said...

Yes, this will just come down to commercial terms. If they can do Lovefilm, they can probably do Netflix, but there might be some sort of exclusivity deal in place.

Having said that, Lovefilm is far from an exclusive content provider for VM already, with FilmFlex and Sky Anytime already in place. Exclusivity doesn't seem that likely as a showstopper, unless Lovefilm explicitly asked to lock Netflix out for a period.

Jason (Admin) said...

I think the Filmflex contract may get in the way of them offering on VM


Good point, forget about them. Which isn't surprising given that I haven't used them for over 2 years due to their rip-off prices for PPV.

Flimflex makes Lovefilm look value for money, and the walk to the postbox is good exercise. :-)

Richard said...

but VM said they wanted to be a platform provider for content and not a content provider. (one of Niel Burket's statements to the shareholders last year I think)
Hence they sold their ownership of TV content providers.
As such, this would make a lot of sense for VM to allow/encourage Netflix to build an app.

but we are speculating... lets see what unfolds :-)

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