It is home country of Spain, Telefonica has made a name for itself as a provider of digital home services and is now moving forward with improvements to its TV services in order to stay ahead of the game in an ever competitive digital era. It is considered by many to be a wise course of action as the Spanish telco is beginning to feel the heat from competitors.
This week the company’s Movistar unit made an announcement detailing improvements to its television platform. Making our way through the elaborate language, it has basically launched a new voice-activated remote control service which will be available for purchase later in the month.
The Voice Remote Control will be compatible with Movistar’s UHD set-top boxes and works via Aura, Telefonica’s own digital assistant. Users will press down the Aura key on the remote and speak to interact with the TV Service. This will enable users to change channels and carry out searches, request recommendations and so on. Telefonica says that it has had impressive feedback from trials and pledges to add new voice-activated features “to improve and enrich the experience” in the near future.
The remote itself will cost €10, but customers can get it for free by upgrading to a UHD or UHD Smart WiFi decoder. Movistar launched their UHD boxes in 2018 and the technology is rapidly gaining traction.
“Numerous milestones, such as the consolidation of UHD decoders, which now account for more than 30% of its TV customers, have underpinned the Movistar+ platform as a market leader in Spain,” Telefonica said.
The statistics back up its claims.
CNMC, the Spanish regulatory body revealed last week that pay TV subscriptions in Spain rose by 3.1% year-on-year in the third quarter of last year to 6.9 million, with IPTV claiming the most success at 4.6 million subscriptions. The company’s results for the third quarter of last year show that Movistar ended the period with 4.1 million pay subscriptions in Spain, giving it a market share of 60% in the pay TV market.
The telco also reported a 1% year on year rise in pay TV subscriptions and noted that it was gaining high-value customers at the expense of those on cheaper bundles. However they posted a net customer loss in Q3 of 18,000 subscriptions which blamed promotions on the part of rivals.
Consequently they should certainly push forward with service improvements to keep hold of those higher-spend users. There are also more improvements to be expected.
“Future improvements coming soon include the possibility of watching two programmes at the same time by splitting the screen in two (especially useful for sports competitions) and the forthcoming incorporation of Apple TV into the device ecosystem,” Telefonica said this week.
Split screen could be the answer to marital harmony: Match of the Day on one side of the screen and the Great British Bake Off on the other. However, it is not yet clear what happens with the audio though. But the serious message here is that Telco’s releasing new TV features – voice control, split screen and so on – is good news. If customers wish to use them and are willing to pay for them, then they will also help telco’s stay in high regard in the digital services game.