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Television network boss: Ignore the power of traditional TV at your peril

Monday, October 19th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

The network behind some of the UK's most popular music channels is to stream more of its content online – but its boss says the power of traditional TV should not be ignored.

Box Plus has launched a partnership with YouTube to stream content from one of its channels – 4Music – on the video sharing site.

The UK Music Video Chart, which will be presented by YouTuber Bethan Ledley, will count down the top 20 music videos using data from YouTube.

Further content will be featured on 4Music’s YouTube, Instagram and Facebook channels as well as 4Music.com.

Matt Rennie (pictured), managing director of Box Plus, said music television has come a long way since its launch in the early 1980s and the network had an opportunity to move beyond its main platform and into the online world.

“We believe these new digital and social channels are an amazing opportunity for us to grow and further our engagement with our audience,” he told Cable.co.uk.

“But that said, TV is going to be here for a long time yet.

“In terms of reach, our presence on traditional TVs is still huge with 79% of all 16-34s watching one of The Box Plus Network’s channels last year. Looking at the total population, 68% watched one of our channels.

“TV is still a massive platform where audiences continue to demonstrate engagement with our brands and channels. Ignore the power and the potential of TV at your peril.”

Figures released by Ofcom in August revealed that young people are watching more TV on computers and smartphones than on a traditional TV set.

The regulator’s 2015 Communications Market Report said 57% of 16 to 24-year-olds regularly watch on-demand and catch-up TV on a laptop or PC.

'Accessible to everyone'

The report found that 34% of connected TV users watch free catch-up services from public service broadcasters such as BBC iPlayer and ITV Player.

15% of adults watch subscription-based on-demand services such as Netflix, Now TV and Amazon Prime.

Mr Rennie said Box Plus would consider moving to a similar subscription-based model – but not just yet.

“Right now our services, via TV, are accessible to everyone,” he said.

“To justify putting content behind a paywall, you need to deliver either an enhanced content offer or perhaps improved functionality.

“There are opportunities for this but not in our immediate future. But never say never.”

He said the network’s two new platforms – YouTube and 4Music.com – offer its audience “content in exactly the way they want it”.

“Consumers increasingly manage their lives through various devices and screens and we’re working with YouTube to ensure they get a fresh blast of great music videos, wherever and whenever they need them.”

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