Freesat, arguably the main (but still distant) challengers to Sky in the UK’s satellite TV market, have revealed a potential trump card in their fight to gain more customers, after launching an official YouTube app that contains a number of advancements.
The main one of these features is the fact that the app runs from the HTML5 platform, along with ‘device pairing’ (enabling remote control through mobile devices), and will add to the range of online content supplied by the non-subscription provider, supplementing catch-up offerings from the region’s leading free-to-air networks.
Freesat’s head of programming development Dan Chronnell summarised of their plans for the app: “We’ve obviously had discussions but we haven’t made any announcements. We’ll be looking forward at what our priorities are. I think our research suggests that people buy for three reasons: brand, content and cost. Adding content is a key tick in the box. For some audiences it’s key to selling the service. Our goal is to sell as many Freesat receivers as we can.”
While the use of HTML5 (the primary means of displaying ‘world wide web’ formats) as the basis of their app is believed to be a sign of infinite potential for Freesat to operate from, the company insist that their platform will not be an open book to publish apps on like iTunes. Freesat’s managing director Emma Scott explained that television is and will continue to be their operative focus, stating: “We’re a platform and not an app hub. We provide a linear service and a bit extra from a few big brands.”
Regardless of what they plan for the future, the implementation of the leading online video site will be a positive for Freesat users who can access it via the ‘<free time>’ on-demand service, but how much free and quality content can Freesat still add to their unusually-named platform?