YouView has been delayed once more, and this latest missed target means the set-top box and related platform won’t be out by the time the London 2012 Olympics begins. The question is whether this actually matters or not.
YouView, which grew out of Project Canvas, has taken far too long to come together. With Alan Sugar added to the process the set-top box technology finally began being tested in the wild last month, but it’s still not going to be commercially available in time for the Olympic Games.
This wouldn’t ordinarily be an issue, but when we’re in the midst of huge companies testing the streaming waters a delay of any length could prove fatal.
No Big Deal
In an interview with The Telegraph, BT Vision CEO and YouView board member Marc Watson dismissed claims that these continued delays will do any harm, stating:
“From our perspective missing the Olympics is no big deal. We take a really long term view of YouView. This is a platform for the future – we do want to build it out to millions of people and we’ll take several years doing that. It’s much more important to get the product right than rush it out to market – people are not going to remember whether we missed the Olympics or not.”
Watson is technically correct on two counts. It is important to get the product right, and “people” won’t be bothered by YouView not being released in time for the London 2012 Olympics. But this isn’t about people, it’s about the speed at which this market is moving.
Of course people (or consumers) will have the final say in whether YouView is a rousing success or a dismal failure, but until it’s on the market and available to buy they cannot even make that choice. Meanwhile new products launch that take away YouView’s raison d’etre.
There’s a real danger that by the time YouView actually arrives it will have evolved enough to make the whole project fairly redundant.