Freeview today confirmed that sales for 2007 hit an all-time high with 9.7 million Freeview branded products sold, up 64% year-on-year. The Gfk Q4 figures also reflect the success of Christmas sales with 3.8 million purchases, Freeview’s best quarterly figures to date.
Freeview Playback, which now accounts for half of the total digital TV recorder market, received a festive boost with sales jumping by 78% in December. The total number of Freeview Playback products stood at more than a quarter of a million by the end of 2007 and reflects the appeal of the brand’s ‘no subscription’ offer as consumers look to adopt more advanced digital recording technology for both first and second sets in the home.
Digital TV (iDTV) and set top box (STB) sales continued to be strong during Q4 with 2.1 million iDTVs being sold in the quarter, an increase of 133% on the previous year. Sales of Freeview set top boxes, largely bought to convert second sets, are still growing by 27% year-on-year and there are around 19 million second sets remaining to convert.
Commenting on the figures, Ilse Howling, Freeview’s General Manager, said:
“Freeview continues to be a truly compelling offer and the latest sales figures further cement our position as the most popular digital platform in the UK. More than half the homes in the country now have Freeview and the value of Freeview Playback is set to grow further for these homes and the millions of others with additional sets still to convert.”
Street fame; comedian, Alan Carr; chef, Gordon Ramsay; football pundits, Steve Rider and Andy Townsend; not to mention an African cheetah and her cubs, and an entire period drama cast.
In one execution, a big match kick-off at Wembley is held up until Mike in Cirencester has finished his bath and dried his hair. In another, Gordon Ramsay is repeatedly rewound, and wound up, because Helen in Swansea hasn’t been able to catch his rapid-fire recipe. And in another, an early 19th century Ball at Hampton Court is suspended until Zoe in Godalming is back from Barbados and ready to watch them off series record.
Freeview+ not only provides quality digital television, including 13 of the 15 most-watched channels, it also lets viewers pause, rewind and record their favourite shows without monthly bills or a contract, unlike other ‘+’ services on the market. It could save viewers £200 in the first year alone.
The TV ads break on 6th November and run into the New Year. They are supported by online creative and a revamped Freeview website, developed by Grand Union, and by retail that incorporates a new look and feel by 999 Design. Freeview+ advertorials are also featuring in titles such as The Daily Express, The Daily Star and OK magazine.
Rob Farmer, Director of Marketing Communications at Freeview, says: “There are no monthly bills with Freeview+, you can just enjoy the control it gives you of the telly you love. This campaign celebrates the functionality from the public’s perspective, rather than the TV personality’s. We’re aiming to make the power shift itself a source of entertainment.”
Other marketing activity is focused on conversions to Freeview at the Digital Switchover in Border. In addition to on-the-ground initiatives driving awareness of the value and quality of Freeview, a promotion with Tesco has been created whereby customers get a free Technika Freeview box if they buy a Techwood Freeview+ box for £69.97*; a saving of approximately £300 in the first year alone compared to subscription alternatives.
Farmer concludes, “Freeview’s proposition is as relevant today as it’s ever been. With a new channel from Discovery Networks UK and, later, HD coming next year, we’re confident in Freeview’s continued ability to deliver the quality TV people want, without the bills they don’t want.”
*Terms and conditions apply – see information in store for details
**Ofcom Q2 2008 Digital TV Report