TalkTalk reveals rebrand plans for Blinkbox

TalkTalk is set to drop the Blinkbox brand, after agreeing to acquire the on-demand movie service from Tesco.

Blinkbox: TalkTalk set to rebrand movie service
Blinkbox: TalkTalk set to rebrand movie service

The broadband provider plans to roll Blinkbox into its existing pay TV service, and will use the service to launch a TV app.

That means TalkTalk's 1.2m pay TV subscribers could watch shows across smartphones, tablets and games consoles, and start watching shows on one device before finishing on another.

TalkTalk's managing director for consumer, Tristia Harrison, told Marketing: "Today is a good day for us, an exciting day, since we see the acquisition as an acceleration of our current TV strategy.

"Principally this enables us to accelerate our out-of-home [mobile] app, as we now have an established TV business in-home with YouView."

Harrison pointed to Blinkbox's "smart technology" that enables the service across multiple devices, similar to rival services such as Netflix, Sky Go and Virgin's TV Anytime.

She said: "What we have is YouView and TalkTalk TV on set-top box. For a  Freeview household, that’s great, they’re starting to pay for certain content and use functionality like catch-up on demand. What we want to accelerate is taking that experience out of home."

As part of the integration, Blinkbox co-founder and CEO Adrian Letts will join Harrison to become managing director of TalkTalk TV. The integration will mean dropping the Blinkbox name and bringing the service in line with the TalkTalk TV brand.

Harrison said: "What we won’t do is run Blinkbox as a standalone business - we will integrate the two over a period of time. The real reason behind this is our out-of-home TV experience. 

"There will be a rebrand in due course, a rebrand of Blinkbox to TalkTalk, with the name, the branding to be determined and decided."

Harrison refused to say whether there would be any layoffs or changes to the Blinkbox marketing team as part of the integration and rebrand.

A spokesman for TalkTalk said: "We are excited about the experience and deep expertise that exists within Blinkbox and we will be working closely with all the employees over the coming weeks and months to discuss what the acquisition means for them. It is too early to comment on any specifics."

The acquisition comes as more broadband providers look to conquer the quad-play market, offering fixed line, TV, broadband and mobile services. BT last month entered exclusive talks to buy mobile operator EE for £12.5bn in an apparent bid for the quad-play crown.

According a report in The Times, TalkTalk paid around £25-30m for Blinkbox and Tesco's broadband and voice customers. According to Blinkbox, the service has round 1m active monthly users.

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