With companies feeling the need to diversify and change in order to maintain profits and ensure growth for their business, one of the keenest marketplaces for expansion has been that of the home entertainment and communications industry.
Generally, the services that fall under this umbrella are broadband and television and landline – however, there are some companies who also act as mobile network providers in addition to this. The benefit for the provider in offering this variety of linked products is that they are easily able to upsell existing customers and lure new ones in, while consumers are able to take advantage of cut-price package offers for things that are now seen as being vital in many households.
Traditionally, a business would focus on one key product – perhaps best exemplified by BT, who began as landline providers for the whole of the UK. Since being privatised under the government of Margaret Thatcher, the business has expanded into markets outside of their natural base of expertise.
In recent years, this has changed – BT’s successful transition into being an internet service provider has been followed by moves towards competing with Sky for the television market (Sky themselves have started offering broadband and home phone in order to compete in the wider sector too).
These moves were arguably instigated by the success of Virgin Media. Boasting of being the UK’s first “quadruple play” operator, the business now offers broadband, digital television, landline and mobile for customers – and are able to provide discounts for those who have more than one service with them. TalkTalk have followed a similarly inclusive strategy aimed at a lower price bracket, which has slowly earned them a niche in this heating, oligopolised industry.
John introduces us to what’s currently happening in the UK’s TV & broadband industry – with examples of how BT has changed to be more like Sky, and how Sky has changed to be more like BT!