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Netflix UK on YouView, Google Play on Roku and NOW TV on Vodafone

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 (1:44 pm) - Score 6,907

The ever changing landscape of broadband Internet-based TV (IPTV), video and movie streaming services in the United Kingdom has taken an interesting twist over the past few days with a number of major cross-platform and content partnership deals, a few of which may come as a surprise.

First up is perhaps the least surprising news of all, especially given yesterday’s news of a mobile trial between Sky Broadband and Vodafone (here), with Voda today also announcing that customers of their 4G (RED) based mobile broadband plans will now be able to take advantage of content being offered via Sky’s NOW TV service.

NOW TV is essentially Sky’s web-based Internet video streaming alternative service which, aside from offering access to their premium Sports and Movies content, can also give customers both live and catch-up TV access to some of BSkyB’s most popular channels (e.g. Sky Atlantic, Sky One etc.). Apparently Vodafone’s new 4G customers will also benefit from a 3 month NOW TV Sky Movies Pass (normally £9.99 per month).

Otherwise anyone signing up to their Red 4G plans or who buys a £30 or £40 Red 4G Freedom TopUp will now be able to choose to have a NOW TV Entertainment Pass as their 4G entertainment pack.

Netflix on YouView

Another big, albeit not hugely surprising, development has been the news that Netflix’s popular movie and TV streaming service is now available to users of the YouView (IPTV) platform, which is of course most popular among subscribers to BT and TalkTalk’s related TV, phone and broadband bundles.

This development follows last week’s news that Netflix would be coming to the BT TV service as part of a special deal (here), which meant that YouView support was inevitable. In short, effective from today, Netflix is now available on YouView via BT set-top-boxes and Humax set-top-boxes purchased from a retailer, while TalkTalk won’t be able to benefit until “early in the new year“.

Google Play on Roku

But perhaps of most interest to some will be the news that Google Play Movies and TV will be arriving on Roku streaming devices in the USA, UK, Ireland and Canada. On the one hand this may surprise some people because Google has its own Chromecast device to sell and thus gifting an advantage to one of their rivals might not seem wise. However Google also benefits from making their content available to a significantly wider audience.

The real loser in this deal would appear to be Amazon, which via their competing Prime Instant Video (formerly LOVEFiLM) service has tended to adopt a closed ecosystem. On top of that Roku’s part ownership by Sky has meant that Roku owners in the United Kingdom have been denied access to Amazon’s service, which incidentally was enough for yours truly to give up on Prime in favour of Netflix and NOW TV (so far I haven’t looked back).

But with the new Google deal Roku now has one of the strongest and most content rich platforms of any Internet video streaming device, which will be hard to beat.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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