EXCLUSIVE: YouView will let content providers decide on how they manage the payment mechanisms on the connected TV platform. In a Broadband TV News interview, Richard Halton, the newly appointed CEO of the former Project Canvas said the platform would also be opened to developers to create their own apps.
“The consumer logic says have a single payment gateway, it’s easier for people to use, you centralise all the billing, etc,” said Halton. “I think the problem is with the philosophy behind YouView you’re trying to keep control of the payment mechanism with the content provider. YouView is not for profit, it’s not going to own content, it’s not going to sell content for itself. So for us it doesn’t seem appropriate that it then controls the payment gateway.”
Subscriber management company MGt recently launched PayWizard, a pre-paid e-wallet that securely supports micropayment transactions in multiple currencies. The company has made no secret of it ambitions to run a payment system on Canvas, but if it does so it will now need to do so through individual contracts.
Halton explained that YouView devices – the first DTT box is due out in the first half of 2011 – would be capable of supporting a variety of different payment methods and in his explanation used the example of one of the platform’s fiercest critics. “That would allow Sky to authenticate the device so if you’ve got a Sky Player subscription on your YouView box gives you instant access to everything without any additional payment because it knows you’re a subscriber, through to making sure that the technical requirements for making a micropayment service or offering Paypal are all there. It will then be up to content providers to decide who they use as a payment gateway.”
With over 40 manufacturers now committed to YouView, Halton said that the announcement of the first content providers would be made in the next four to six weeks. There will also be details of ISPs in addition to shareholders BT and TalkTalk. YouView’s other shareholders are the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel Five and Arqiva.
The platform will also be ‘opened up’ to content creators large and small with more than a nod to the Apple App Store. “The idea is to have a full blown developer community,” explained Halton. “Even the guys on our team who are developing the core services they can come in on the Monday having played around with things that we could launch on the platform. I can see it already amongst the team and I think that will be a big part of it”.
A certification system will ensure that everything is tested before it goes onto the platform.