BT is thought to be redesigning its TV-on-demand service, BT Vision, to include more social features in a bid to rival Netflix, which was launched in the UK last week.
According to the FT, which cited “sources with knowledge of the launch”, BT will unveil the new-look service within the next few weeks.
Personalised recommendations and the addition of social networking features, such as integration with Twitter and Facebook, are among the new introductions expected to appear in the revamped service. YouView, an online based TV-on-demand venture which is being heavily backed by BT and is expected to launch in May this year , also looks set to have similar social network features.
While BT confirmed to the FT it plans to relaunch the BT Vision service, it did not offer details about the new-look service. However, in a previous interview with the FT, BT chief executive Ian Livingstone said BT was concerned with bringing “true interactivity to the TV set, which is the most watched screen in the house”.
“That means on-demand services; it means the availability of buying things as you do it; to have personalised services; to know what your friends like and what they think of it. I think that will change viewing habits quite considerably. It won’t happen overnight but I think it’s the start of something quite big.”
Netflix, which was launched in the UK last week, is priced at £5.99 per month in the UK (€6.99 in Ireland) and allows web users to watch an unlimited number of TV shows and movies on a range of internet-connected devices including computers, Samsung Smart TVs, LG Blu-ray players, Sony's PlayStation 3, the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft's Xbox 360, as well as Apple iPhones, Apple iPads and Google Android smartphones and tablet PCs.