Clubcard TV- not just another streaming service?


Last Friday our latest newsletter went out containing MD Rick Guttridge’s article on the importance of open-mindedness when it comes to securing media exposure. The point being that ‘audience, not medium, is the key to PR success‘.
As such it’s interesting to see retail trade publication The Grocer opening it’s own monthly digest with related sentiments. Referencing Tesco’s Clubcard TV, food and drink editor Vince Bamford admits regretting being so critical of this still-fledgling offering, because despite the fact it’s dominated by throwaway trash like Two Pints of Lager & A Packet of Crisps, the idea is gradually taking off.
Originally only available to the supermarket giant’s own employees, now anyone with a loyalty card can make use of completely free access to archive television shows and films, without the need for a subscription. A limited selection of content is available when compared with the paid-for BlinkBox (also from Tesco), but whilst Bamford’s initial opinion was formed thanks to the lack of anything anyone would want to watch, in recent months deals have been struck with BBC Worldwide and ITV, improving the selection no end.
Of course the titles included are still pretty old. Goodness Gracious MeCold Feet, and Morse to name but three examples. However, in terms of the core Tesco shopper, it’s slowly becoming a very enticing proposition. These dramas and comedies have earned themselves a place in Britain’s broadcasting history through rave reviews when they first aired, and in some cases BAFTAs or other awards a little further down the line, proving the brains behind Clubcard TV know their market.
Kellogg’s, Danone, and Colgate, are all major brands referenced by Bamford as advertising on the platform. And it’s not hard to understand why those names are involved, either. By linking streaming accounts to the physical Clubcard, Tesco can use the viewer’s shopping list to sell specific commercial opportunities based on that individual’s product choices.
So, if you buy porridge regularly it will affect what you’re shown on Clubcard TV. Something of an ad department’s fantasy, as Tesco is the country’s biggest retailer there couldn’t be a larger potential audience to start with, and providing the standard of movies and programmes continues to improve this seeming ugly duckling of the on demand world could end up being one of the most valuable out there.
Again, as referenced here last week, Netflix scored major points over everyone else involved in broadcasting and TV by securing the rights to show Kevin Spacey’s political series House of Cards in the UK, meaning if you wanted to see the acclaimed first season you needed to sign up for the service. For Clubcard TV, modelling reality show Elite New Face may not be such a huge selling point, however it is an exclusive nonetheless, and is another warning sign for traditional broadcasters (albeit a pretty small one). Putting it simply, unique content is one very strong reason why streaming services could eventually usurp networks as we know them today.
Taking all that into account, it won’t be much of a surprise if a rival supermarket partners up with one of the established players in the on demand game. Love Film already uses the same Nectar loyalty system as Sainsbury’s, for example, and that’s just one example to leap off the top of our heads. As we’ve said so many times before, the world is changing rapidly, and few areas of the media are experiencing the same level of revolution as TV is right now- from watching programmes on a mobile to Samsung’s voice controlled flatscreen. As such keeping an eye on the latest developments has never been a more lucrative way to spend a few of those valuable research hours.