BT continues to gain fixed-line share at TalkTalk’s expense

Market researcher Kantar Worldpanel has revealed that BT has been the biggest beneficiary of TalkTalk’s struggles, increasing its share of the UK home services market.

Kantar groups fixed-line, broadband and premium TV into the ‘home services’ bundle and tracks overall market share. BT, it says, has increased its share by 7.8 percentage points in the past year, mainly at the expense of TalkTalk, which has been plagued by security breaches.

“BT has almost doubled its share of the paid television market from 15% this time last year and has been performing well since it began showing more premium sports content, namely UEFA Champions League and Premier League football,” said Fiona Keenan of Kantar.

“While making strong gains in television it has also successfully retained customers and performed well in its core markets of home broadband and landline – helping it to close the gap on Sky, which is coming under greater pressure for quarterly sales. In fact, BT has ramped up the pressure on competitors across each of the home services markets, driven by a combination of well thought-out propositions and strong marketing campaigns.

“In times of uncertainty consumers tend to favour brands they trust.  BT benefited more than anyone else from TalkTalk’s data hacking scandal last year, with 40% of those leaving TalkTalk moving to BT in the months following on from the data breach. With such a solid reputation in the market, BT has been able to tap into its sizeable broadband base and cross-sell its television propositions, using the lure of premium football content to entice customers new to the brand.”

BT’s aggressive content moves, especially in football, have represented the biggest challenge Sky has ever faced to its premium TV domination. The main Sky riposte to this threat has been the development of the Sky Q next generation platform, which yesterday went big on Ultra HD (4K) content.

“The launch of Sky Q has helped it increase its distance from BT in paid television acquisitions quarter on quarter,” said Keenan. “However, this hasn’t been enough to return its performance to last year’s standards. With a strong content portfolio and high brand engagement Sky is well placed to sell its new service into its vast existing base. As with prior premium launches it will take time to gain critical mass, but Sky is ready to go head-to-head against a bullish BT as it looks to enter the mobile market itself.”

3 m/e

30 Jun 15

3 m/e

30 Jun 16

Share change, Q2 2015 to Q2 2016,


Sales (new acquisitions)
Share %
BT 22.4 30.2 7.8
TalkTalk 18.1 9.8 -8.3
Virgin Media 8.9 12.9 4.0
Sky* 27 28.1 1.1
Other 23.6 18.9 -4.7

Meanwhile another Kantar report reveals Android is continuing to take share from other smartphone platforms, even in traditionally strong Apple markets like the US and UK. In the US now accounts for over two thirds of smartphone sales, while in the EU 5 (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain) Android has jumped to over three quarters of sales, although this has been mainly at the expense of Windows, which is rapidly approaching irrelevance.

“Android has continued to achieve year-on-year growth across most regions, most notably in Italy, where it gained 10.2 percentage points, and now accounts for 80.9% of smartphone sales in the three months ending May 2016,” said Lauren Guenveur of Kantar. “That does not necessarily mean that iOS has continued to decline, but rather returned to growth in both France and Great Britain.”

Huawei is doing a good job in the EU 5 apparently, now accounting for 12.5% of all smartphone sales, with Spain and Italy especially strong and the P8 Lite the most popular device. “The rest of Europe reads a little differently,” said Dominic Sunnebo, of Kantar. “In France, Huawei trails local-hero brand Wiko, though its rate of growth suggests it could soon emerge as the third largest brand. In Germany, Samsung accounts for nearly half of all smartphones sold, with Apple and Huawei fighting for the remainder.

“And finally, in Great Britain, Android has its lowest sales share, at 58.6% vs. 75% or more elsewhere in Europe, and similarly, the brand battle is also much closer. Samsung accounts for 36.2% of smartphones sold in the period, with Apple trailing closely at 36%, thanks to a strong showing by the iPhone SE.”

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