Advanced Television

Freely streamer to launch in Q2

February 5, 2024

By Colin Mann

Everyone TV – the organisation leading the evolution of free TV in the UK – has confirmed that its new streaming service Freely, backed by BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, will launch in Q2 2024.

Everyone TV has also offered a first glimpse at the user-interface and features of Freely, including what it says are world-first innovations for free TV.

As new research reveals that more than half of UK homes will watch TV exclusively over broadband by 2030, the new service is designed to futureproof live TV for the streaming age. Freely will bring live and on demand content together all in one place for free, ensuring that TV remains relevant and accessible to audiences of all ages.

The UI includes new features which bring the free TV experience into the streaming age. For the first time on a free service, viewers will be able to switch seamlessly between live and on demand TV from the leading UK broadcasters, and take advantage of features such as pause, restart and access to more episodes, without having to pay. Freely TVs can also be placed anywhere in the home where there is a Wi-Fi connection, removing the need for a dish or aerial.

Key Freely features include:

  • MiniGuide – A new feature for the free TV experience, this pop-up interface appears each time users switch channels, creating a seamless browsing experience and enabling viewers to easily discover related live or on demand content. Audiences can also take advantage of features such as restart, pause and access to more episodes from live TV.
  • Browse – Viewers will be able to press the Freely button on their remote to explore recommended live and on demand programming from Britain’s leading broadcasters and free-to-air channels, all in one place.
  • TV Guide – Bringing simplicity and familiarity, this 7-day guide provides relevant information and is easily recognisable thanks to its consistency across all Freely TVs and one-touch access via the ‘Guide’ button on the remote. Audiences can also discover more episodes and on demand content linked to the live TV shows they are enjoying, all via the TV Guide.

TV manufacturer Vestel has been revealed as an additional smart TV partner to offer Freely, in a five-year, long term deal. Freely will be running the native guide on Vestel TVs, giving users the best viewing experience possible. Freely will provide a consistent and recognisable user experience across all Freely-enabled TVs in market regardless of how it is accessed.

Everyone TV is also working with UKTV to bring the broadcaster’s portfolio of free channels to Freely, via broadband. UKTV’s channels include Dave, Drama, Yesterday and W.

More details around Freely will be announced in the coming weeks, including additional smart TV, operating system and content partners.

“It’s clear the way people are watching TV is changing, with more audiences switching over to a broadband only connection,” note Sarah Milton and Carl Pfeiffer, Joint Chief Product Officers, Everyone TV. “We’ve built Freely around the needs of British audiences, bringing them the freedom to choose how they want to watch, with all their favourite shows from the UK’s leading broadcasters all in one place for free. We’re really proud of what we’re launching with Freely and are excited about bringing major enhancements like the MiniGuide to viewers as Freely launches in Q2 this year.”

“We are thrilled to announce our further partnership and commitment to the latest innovation in television technology, by offering customers TVs that are compatible with Freely,” adds Atinc Ogut, Vice President of TV Product Management, Vestel. “Freely offers a seamless and intuitive user interface that aligns perfectly with our mission to elevate the way people experience television. The collaboration not only enhances the functionality of our TVs but also empowers users to freely stream their favourite shows, live and on demand, all from a single, unified platform. As one of the TV manufactures now compatible with Freely, we’re proud to be setting the standard for the future of television.”

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