Sling TV’s FreeStream later this week will quietly roll out a revamped home screen for anyone new checking out the free ad-supported service, Cord Cutters News has learned.
Update: DISH later clarified that the changes aren’t live and will go in effect later this week.
Liz Riemersma, vice president of strategy, business development and international for DISH and Sling TV, said during a keynote at Parks Association’s Future of Video conference that the company had split the experience of the home screen based on whether you were a new or existing customer. In a follow-up interview with Cord Cutters News, Riemersma elaborated on the change, which was intended to ease newcomers to Freestream.
“Someone who doesn’t know us at all has no understanding of what we are, or what we offer,” Riemersma said. “And what we found is they need to be treated differently because they need to understand, wow, there’s all of this stuff. You have to make that experience a little bit different.”
New users will get a more human-curated home screen that goes the extra mile to show the breadth of content available on the service by featuring different categories.
The move addresses one of the issues with free ad-supported services, which is the vast array of channels and on-demand content available. That can be an overwhelming amount, and industry executives at the Future of Video event echoed the sentiment that services need to do a better job of showcasing their library of content.
Freestream, for instance, boasts more than 430 channels, and added eight to its lineup just last week.
The split experience is one of the ways Sling TV is looking to experiment with the service. Riemersma said during the keynote that its free model allows it to play around with different ideas since expectations for the free service are much lower than Sling TV or the traditional DISH satellite service. She added the company plans to continue testing different ideas and experiences on Freestream.