Virgin Media wants to ‘simplify’ TV

Virgin is moving into DVDs and relaunching its TV service with new features and products as it aims to simplify viewers’ entertainment experience.

Virgin TV

Virgin Media is revamping its TV offering with a range of new features and products, as it aims to simplify the entertainment experience and “bring people closer to the TV they love”.

At a press launch today (30 November), Virgin Media showcased its V6 TV box, which it says is half the size but 10 times as powerful as the previous TiVo box. It allows people to record six programmes at once and access Netflix in one click, compared to Sky’s apparent seven clicks. The product includes an app that allows users to use their mobile phone as a remote, a new children’s app and a new user interface.

Virgin believes the new features are vital to reflect customers’ need for speed and flexibility.

“The way we are all watching TV is changing. That’s why our Virgin TV Anywhere app brings everything together to give our customers the freedom and flexibility to watch the very best TV and manage recording wherever they are,” said David Bouchier, chief digital entertainment officer at Virgin Media, speaking at the event.

And speaking to Marketing Week, Virgin Media CMO Kerris Bright said the new product and features will be promoted through the brand’s ‘Masters of Entertainment’ campaign, which was launched at the beginning of the year.

“I think [Masters of Entertainment] was successful for two reasons, one is that it is born on consumer insights and the second is people just want to watch the telly they love, when they want to watch it and in the way they want to watch it. It really reached people and is a very fresh way to talk about entertainment in a cluttered world,” she said.

Bright said Virgin Media does not want its customers to “radically change” their behaviour and that the different options on offer allow customers to pick and choose. This is why the company is also launching a Virgin Media Store, which will allow customers to purchase digital films and also receive a DVD in the post.

Although Sky has already beaten Virgin Media to the post with the offer, Bright said the Virgin Media Store offers another way of accessing  entertainment, something it has found its customers want.

“Our main focus is looking at ‘what do customers really want to watch’. We have to appeal to a broad market and the vast amount of viewing is still linear,” she said.

Despite the fact the DVD move seems odd in comparison to the brand’s more technical introductions, Bright believes it responding to demand from Virgin Media’s customers, who she claims want a “visual manifestation” of their film tastes.

“There is something about a DVD in a box, it is like the visual manifestation of my tastes, showing the collection of my tastes. I can also share it with my friends more easily,” Bright said.

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