Premium rate TV 'needs more trust'

The £139m-a-year market for premium rate lines to television shows can only grow if the industry earns trust, according to a survey for PhonepayPlus.

Voting and taking part in TV competitions accounted for 13% of all premium rate phone services in 2007.

However, the regulator, renamed from ICSTIS last year, warned that the services had suffered "a loss of trust among viewers" during the year because of revelations that votes and competitions had been run unfairly.

"It is the industry’s ability to regain that trust that will to a large degree decide whether participation TV services will grow in 2008," said the report, based on research by Fathom Partners.

TV voting and quizzes were the most popular premium-rate service among 25-34s, with two-thirds of the demographic having used them. For older people, directory enquiries and adult services were more used.

The report added: "The research also revealed that providers must do more to build trust in, and demand for, their services." Some 26% of people who had not used services said lack of trust was a reason.

Chief executive George Kidd said it was a "vibrant, lucrative market full of opportunities". But she added: "If phone-paid services are to remain relevant in a converged age it is absolutely crucial that the industry builds trust, ensuring consumers can use these services with complete confidence."