Freesat winning new fans with Freetime and mobile apps

Freesat, the subscription free satellite TV service, has maintained its 2014 momentum by adding 8,000 new TV homes in the three months to the end of September. In all, Freesat has added 32,000 new households in the first nine months of 2014; it is now available in 1.9 million households and watched by more than four million viewers every week.

Freesat’s continuing growth demonstrates the ongoing appeal of TV on a subscription free basis, as viewers continue to switch from expensive contracts. With a Freesat box, viewers have access to over 200 TV and radio channels, more than with any other free to air provider, and at no monthly fee.

Freetime, Freesat’s award-winning connected TV service, continues to demonstrate strong growth and now accounts for 48% of all Freesat set-top-box sales and a third of all new Freesat sales. The Freetime service allows viewers to roll-back the TV guide to watch shows from the past seven days, pause, record and rewind live programmes and offers immediate access to all the major Catch Up players. Panasonic, which launched a range of televisions with Freetime in May, is helping to drive Freetime growth with even higher than expected connection rates.

The Freesat mobile app, launched in January this year, continues to be extremely popular with both Freesat and non-Freesat viewers. The launch during the quarter of an Android version has pushed total number of downloads to over 350,000.

In support of the key consumer electronic peak sales period, November through December, Freesat is promoting Freetime with a new TV and digital marketing campaign featuring the Freesat App. The TV campaign launches in the ad break of Coronation Street tonight (20th October) and was created by a team led by Freesat’s own marketing department.

Emma Scott, Freesat’s managing director, commented:

It is fantastic to be able to report another solid quarter of growth that demonstrates the ongoing appeal of free TV over pay. We have enhanced our offering with our hugely successful mobile app, now available on both Android and iOS, and with our popular Showcase recommendation service, which is helping to drive viewer engagement. I am delighted to see the enduring success of Freesat with consumers.

46 thoughts on “Freesat winning new fans with Freetime and mobile apps”

  1. 8,000 new homes in THREE MONTHS? You’ve got to be kidding me. That’s worthy of a press release? And is that 8,000 Gross or Net New Homes? No wonder the Md is heading for the exit. C’mon Freesat, WAKE UP!

  2. Should this not be marked as a straight re-publishing of the Freesat press release rather than being presented as ‘news’?

    And, as Peter observes, 8,000 in three months isn’t exactly scintillating performance. In fact it’s not even ‘solid’.

  3. Indeed not exciting. The only thing that can truly help pushing more people to this platform, is by offering extra HD channels like ITV 2/3/4, CH5, and ideally the equivalent +1 channels as well.

    I know, these are apparently locked to Sky, but maybe that’s where Freesat should start paying, or demand that if channels are considered to be FTA (like the ITV 2/3/4 channels), it should also apply for HD and not just SD.

    It is ridiculous we only have 11 HD channels while most people who are regularly watching TV have HD tvs, and we are now even considering 4K tvs.

    11 HD channels… Common! That’s the problem!

  4. These sales figures are disastrous, and it’s surprising that the market can support one manufacturer (Humax) let alone others. Freesat hasn’t sold itself well to the industry and the result that there are many Sony and LG TVs sold here featuring built in DVB S2 satellite tuners, but no Freesat support. How daft is it for makers to provide the satellite hardware, but not to have the Freesat EPG? I fear that unless Freesat can establish itself as a pan European EPG standard, manufacturers will not be bothered with it.

  5. Been reading some of these posts and ano maybe not the best news but least its 8000 more than 3 month ago 🙂 and maybe a few thousand from dodgy sky ?

    What will get more people coming is better on demand or few famous freeview channels ? And ano it maybe a big ask but I’d be willing to donate couple hundred quid if they would get them channels off freeview and they can hold me to this ….

  6. These figures could be better but I’d be interested to see Sky’s core TV figures too. Of course we just won’t know as they aren’t released, only with Now TV to bolster the numbers.

    Remember too that summer is traditionally the lowest quarter for all platforms additions. Freesat really needs to push the fact that they are a subscription free satellite platform and nothing to do with Sky!

  7. Freesat definitely needs a mainstream film service alongside Curzon. Come on Blinkbox, Netflix, Amazon Prime, SkyStore, Wuaki; what’s stopping you all?

  8. Freesat continue to push Freetime as a big selling point in their advertising and yet they admit it accounts for only a third of all new sales. It’s no wonder that the likes of Netflix aren’t joining if even as the pool of Freesat viewers grows (ever so slowly) for every Freetime device sold two non-Freetime devices join the Freesat pool. Humax account for 48% of STB sales, TV manufacturers must be taking a reasonable size chunk of those 8000 new homes so the other 52% of STB sales is spread between the other STB manufactures this can’t mount up to much each. How long will all the manufacturers and retailers continue to support Freesat with it performing so poorly? I fear that the broadcast digital TV market is stagnating and the Freesat platform is the one that will be squeezed the most by the bigger and better marketing, financial muscle and scale (i.e. number of households or subscribers) of the other providers.

  9. In fairness to Freesat their core audience almost certainly comes from those who have poor Freeview reception or are in an area with Freeview Lite (restricted number of available channels). That was fundamentally why they were set up, and in that respect they provide a most valuable service. I speak as one who is in the Freeview Lite group. They are now faced with the problem that post digital changeover that core audience is fairly finite, any growth is likely to come only from new-build households. There is some potential in those that continue to believe that the only way to get sat TV is to pay for it. I’m regularly faced with quizzical looks when I say I get sat TV for free…”how do you swing that” …is the comment, with a knowing wink. The latest advert does nothing to address that group and is unlikely to appeal at all to those with full spectrum Freeview and thinking about a second source for their TV viewing. That kind of decision will most likely be driven by men interested in sport or films and they will think…”Coronation St???”. If Freesat seriously want to grow their audience, and I think for selfish reasons it’s important they do, then they have some work to do.

  10. Unfortunately this is not Freesat specific. The television industry has evolved and conventional means of broadcast such as terrestrial and satellite are becoming cost prohibitive to the channel owners and as such, choice is fairly stagnant. The future, as much as it pains me to say it, is in Internet based television, or certainly access via your broadband connection. What must be realised is that Freeview isn’t really adding numbers either, if you ignore televisions with it built-in and largely not used; YouView is only adding to its audience because of tied-in contract deals from TalkTalk etc giving away boxes for free. Freesat is only slowly adding additional customers because most have already upgraded to HD and more people are aware that a cancelled Sky subscription still means you can access the free channels (maybe Freesat have opened their eyes to this). As for Freetime, it continues to grow, but in a similar vain to the rest, hasn’t evolved at a rate many would need it to, in order to make a purchase. The problem both Freetime and YouView will have going forward is offering Internet based services that will make a difference. Many of such services are already available in televisions, or by using a low cost, designed for purpose Android box costing a fraction of the amount. Existing terrestrial and satellite platforms will continue to plod, and grow slowly as the population increases, but at the point where they introduce more Internet based services than terrestrial/satellite channels, they are no longer targeting the same market, so the balance has to be right, even if it means not a lot changes.

  11. Hi admin I agree more channels are going internet based like on demand and I watch a lot on demand so could freesat put more apps like on demand ones instead of the actual channel or are they still not allowed cos of dodgy sky ??
    Like quest on demand ??

  12. Dont forget Ireland which pushes that number up. So i say its good 2 million and who knows what it is here. What we need is Netflix Film4 HD
    More4 HD and a sports channel. If Bt sports can do it for youview i dont see why freesat cant do it maybe some sort of deal with Setanta its free on UPC.

  13. A good example of lateral thinking by rights owners is the Disney Channel in Germany. A new owner bought the rights, took it off subscription onto free-sat, the audience has grown enormously and the advertising agencies are scrambling to get in on the action.

  14. pollensa1946 said:
    A good example of lateral thinking by rights owners is the Disney Channel in Germany.A new owner bought the rights, took it off subscription onto free-sat, the audience has grown enormously and the advertising agencies are scrambling to get in on the action.

    A refreshing change.

  15. It’s been confirmed that netflix is going on YOUVIEW
    Hopefully they will confirm freesat 🙂
    Cannot believe we’re last again ??

  16. Hi admin sorry that this is my 3rd little rant in a row ..

    But isn’t it about 2 years that you posted a statement saying netflix coming then changed to a roomer ? Not sure if I can look back that far ? But do remember you saying all in good time it’s been 2 years and a lot as changed but still no netflix 🙁 sad after seeing its going on youview …!!!!

  17. Dave said:
    It’s been confirmed that netflix is going on YOUVIEW
    Hopefully they will confirm freesat
    Cannot believe we’re last again ??

    Depends which ISP BT or TT or is it both as YouView is really just the freeview channels and whatever streaming channels they provide. I agree with admin the future is on demand and internet tv. There are over 60 pay internet Sky channels on TT YV also TT movies.
    Roku,most smart tv’s ,some blu-ray players with built in wifi, x box etc etc all have the Netfix app so perhaps not such a big deal for Freesat to have but better to have than not to have.
    I

  18. since launch youview has added now tv,uk tv,and quest on demand players.
    Freeview/youview also has ch4+1 and 4seven in HD.
    Freesat has only added the Curzon app.If you were in the market for a new stb and your freeview reception was solid which would u choose

  19. David said:
    since launch youview has added now tv,uk tv,and quest on demand players.Freeview/youview also has ch4+1 and 4seven in HD.Freesat has only added the Curzon app.If you were in the market for a new stb and your freeview reception was solid which would u choose

    It depends what turns you on. Got freesat because I didnt want to pay sky so now tv is of no interest. Uk tv is boring and full of adverts.ch4 +1 and 4seven is mostly upscaled sd which is nt much better that sd on freesat. I choose netflix.

  20. RichardC said: It depends what turns you on. Got freesat because I didnt want to pay sky so now tv is of no interest. Uk tv is boring and full of adverts.ch4 +1 and 4seven is mostly upscaled sd which is nt much better that sd on freesat. I choose netflix.

    Hmmmm UK TV full of repeats?compared to ,say CBS drama,true entertainment to name but two,UK TV is an oaisis of new content.May not be to your taste but they provide the most watched channels after the psb’s.
    You obviously don’t watch ch4 as nearly all there content is now native HD,so by default so is the +1 HD and 4 seven HD channels.
    What about quest ?excellent documentary channel from the discovery network.Along side yesterday this gives freeview/you view two documentary channels against freesats zero.Have you not noticed that channels once on sat only are now on freeview,while no freeview exclusive channels have appeared on the freesat platform.
    The new freesat/free time is excellent,yes a snail,which is exactly the speed that freesat is growing.What a waste of licence payers money.Freesat was,is and is likleybto remain a niche platform for disgruntled ex sky viewers and those who can’t receive the freeview service.
    Offcom have made this clear in there recent report in to the future of free TV which reaffirms there commitment to freeview as the main provider of free TV with freesat only been expected to fill in the gaps.

  21. Well I think Freesats solution is more apps for on demand there’s 100s on channels setting up like this ..

  22. Oh dear, Freesat is playing catch up again! Since YouView now has the BBC Connected Red button service.

  23. Aren’t BT and TalkTalk paying Netflix to join the Youview.

    Freesat don’t have the money to pay Netflix to become available on Freetime.

  24. Kate said:
    Aren’t BT and TalkTalk paying Netflix to join the Youview.
    Freesat don’t have the money to pay Netflix to become available on Freetime.

    No,Netflix don’t need paying to join freesat,its because freesats user base is to low for them to bother.

  25. david said: No,Netflix don’t need paying to join freesat,its because freesats user base is to low for them to bother.

    According to the FT the BT and TalkTalk Netflix deal is commercial, involving subscription bundling. Clearly that’s not an option for Freesat since there is no subscription.

  26. They are paying them they are guaranteeing a minimum level of revenue.

    All equipment manufactures pay them that’s why Netflix isn’t on base level Smart products.

  27. Kate said:
    They are paying them they are guaranteeing a minimum level of revenue.
    All equipment manufactures pay them that’s why Netflix isn’t on base level Smart products.

    My point exactly,freesats user base is to low to reach netflixs minimum level of income !

  28. I asked freesat directly about this netflix thing and to be honest they went round the houses to answer the question but to be honest it’s not gonna happen that’s what I think …
    So what do freesat want to do ? Cos as everyone saying tv is changing so are we just gonna use freesat with other devices for ever ?

    Thanks guys

  29. I bought a Panasonic plasma in 2010 with a Freesat tuner built in. Last week I bought a Manhattan Freesat tuner and recorder. How is this recorded in the stats?

  30. I bought a Samsung 40″ Smart TV few month ago, and I have not even bothered to tune into Freeview channels. Will use when needed. My ISP provider is TalkTalk, they offered me this week total free TV package including all the gizmos to go with it.

    This was over the phone, and I have not taken up the offer yet. I asked the kind man to send all the details in the post so me and my wife can look at all pros & cons including the small print.

    And yes! It’s totally free and he said my existing phone & broadband package when I do decide to take the offer will be much cheaper. All I can say the competition out there must hard.

    Dave @ 25

    I can’t see the pull in Quest. Again mostly American thing with back to back program’s and bad presenters falling out all the time. A group of Primary School Children could present Myth Busters if it’s still being shown including similar programs, perhaps even Mega Structures. I don’t know what UK TV is, never bothered to have a look for what I have been told by others.

    Bring back HOW, much more intelligent and rewarding.

  31. Err
    Freesat would double or quadroople if quest. Uktv channels and few other free channels joined freesat but I suppose dodgy sky know this that’s why they pay to keep them off …..

  32. Dave said:
    Err
    Freesat would double or quadroople if quest. Uktv channels and few other free channels joined freesat but I suppose dodgy sky know this that’s why they pay to keep them off …..

    Hardly the case, Sky had them long before Freesat came along. The UK TV channels wouldn’t survive without their revenue from being pay-tv on Sky. In many ways, this funding helps subsidise their availability on Freeview, though obviously larger advertising audiences help in that regard. Sky can be classed as dodgy for many things, but this, not the case…

  33. Kate said: UK TV is the BBC’s mainly subscription TV service.

    BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC. UKTV is also jointly owned by Scripps Networks, a US broadcaster who own channels such as Travel Channel and Food Network.

  34. Hi Admin
    You said UKTV need the Sky money in order to survive. I do not doubt your wisdom. This surprises me though. I could understand their profits being cut but not their existence being at risk. If this is so how do say ITV3 and More4 survive? Will Astra 2G being more focussed on the UK mean any more channels could come to Freesat?

  35. RAM said:
    Hi Admin
    You said UKTV need the Sky money in order to survive. I do not doubt your wisdom. This surprises me though. I could understand their profits being cut but not their existence being at risk. If this is so how do say ITV3 and More4 survive? Will Astra 2G being more focussed on the UK mean any more channels could come to Freesat?

    ITV3 and More4 are propped up by the broadcasting company, where as UKTV channels solely rely on such revenue. Astra 2G is unlikely to change anything, as many of the channels consumers seem to want don’t have quite the same broadcasting restrictions as the big five.

  36. admin said: ITV3 and More4 are propped up by the broadcasting company, where as UKTV channels solely rely on such revenue. Astra 2G is unlikely to change anything, as many of the channels consumers seem to want don’t have quite the same broadcasting restrictions as the big five.

    What about a selection of UKTV channels like on freeview plus a selection of channels such as British Eurosport, Quest & Arte

  37. Broadband is simply not the answer. There are many instances in the US of broadband crashes when too many people try watch national sports on internet at the same time. There simply is not the width on the broadband for everyone to watch or download images -not at the same time anyway.

    Freesat’s strength is its bandwidth. Freeview hasnt enough to deliver HD growth.
    Freesat owners Itv, BBC should be promoting it more strongly…

  38. Hi everyone,

    My understanding is that net homes means homes where Freesat is the primary viewing on the primary TV in the living room.

    So any people who already use Freesat on their main TV but upgrade/replace do not count. Any people who buy Freesat for a second room do not count.

    Our Plaza HD-S2 sales figures are extremely healthy, with many more than 5,000 being sold every month.

    Best,

    Alex

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