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Virgin Media to Launch Branded Online Store

30 Nov, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Platform will include DVD with Digital HD movie purchase

Borrowing a page from Sky’s “Buy & Keep” online store, Virgin Media Nov. 30 announced the pending bow of a branded digital storefront that also includes a DVD with any Digital HD movie purchase.

The store is part of the British pay-TV operator’s revamped home entertainment platform that includes a new 4K UHD-compatible V6 set-top box/DVR featuring TiVo software, direct access to Netflix (the first pay-TV operator to do so), proprietary TV Everywhere app and 14-inch HD tablet.

“Our new Virgin TV line-up raises the bar in home entertainment, marrying the latest and smartest technology with the very best TV programs, all underpinned by our ultrafast cable network. This is game-changing TV,” David Bouchier, chief digital entertainment officer, said in a statement.

Through the Virgin TV V6 and TiVo boxes, desktop and Virgin Media Store app for iOS and Android, subscribers can browse the store, purchase a title and watch it on a TV or mobile device such as Virgin Media’s tablet.

For movie purchases, a DVD copy will be automatically mailed to the subscriber. The Virgin Media Store will launch in February and will be available for non-Virgin Media customers on desktop and mobile.

Satellite TV operator Sky in 2014 bowed the "Buy & Keep" digital store that included a DVD with movie purchases. The novel marketing approach has proved successful in attracting packaged-media consumers.

“We are seeing strong evidence that we are bringing new and lapsed customers to ownership through “Buy & Keep,” with 27% of customers who purchased Disney’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens having not having bought or rented a movie in the last 12 months,” Luke Bradley-Jones, director of TV and content products at Sky, said in September.

Meanwhile, Virgin Media is also launching original TV series “Billy and Billie,” about two step-siblings who enter into a romance. Starring Adam Brody (“The O.C.”), the series (originally produced for DirecTV) follows on the heels other exclusives from Starz, including “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” “Kingdom” and “Magic City.”

In February it will also launch a kids app featuring access to more than 1,500 hours of appropriate content, including “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Peppa Pig” and “Paw Patrol” from Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Milkshake and TinyPop, and licensed programs such as “Sesame Street” and a selection of the best shows from CBeebies.


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