Sky is set to lose the Sky branding for a new subscription free web TV service via the internet.
The new service will include films in a bid to rival current film services such as the popular LoveFilm.
The service is set to launch later this year an will be available to anyone on any internet service. It’s the first time Sky have reached out to customers who are not part of any of their packages. Sky Anytime, the current existing service, will continue to be delivered to its subscribers.
Sky’s Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch said, “We’ll offer two distinctive ways to watch: the full Sky service for the whole family, complete with the widest range of channels; or the flexible, more spontaneous, pay as you go service of NOW TV.”
He added, “It will be available on a wide range of devices and offer instant access to a range of high quality sky content, with no install and no contract. As the quality of the TV experience over broadband has improved, people have become more willing to consume content in different ways. That presents a great opportunity to distribute ou programmes which wasn’t there even a year or two ago. With the long-awaited explosion of connected devices now upon us, this opportunity is only going to grow. And it’s something we believe is highly complementary to our existing service.”
The service will initially offer movies but will expand to then offer sport and entertainment. The shows will be available with a monthly bill or with a pay as you go system.
High profile web TV services such as LoveFilm and NetFlix and YouView will have a battle on their hands as the NOW TV service is aimed at the 13 million households who prefer to use these services and do not suscribe to pay-TV and will be available on smartphones and tablets and internet TV’s and games consoles.
Another extra from Sky is that BBC’s iPlayer will be available to Sky Customers later this year where it can be played through normal Sky HD boxes.
A media analyst said of Sky’s new service that they are seeking to distance themselves from their current “premium” product. Richard Broughton of IHS Screen Digest said, “To date, Sky’s always been concerned about keeping the value of its core service by not producing products that could potentially undermine that. The Sky brand is seen as the premium option. If they’re introducing a new service, they don’t want to confuse consumers.”
As a current Sky customer, I barely watch more than 15 channels out of the 600 or so on there and I am intrigued to see how much the pay as you go service will charge. The fact that I also love movies makes me even more intrigued to see what price plan Sky has come up with. The big draw factor with LoveFilm and netFlix is the price. If LoveFilm had been such a big service when I was a student, there’s no doubt that I would have been a subscriber. Without more than 5 channels at University (and one of them being S4C as I was in Wales) the ability to get movies and TV just like that would have been music to my ears and it would have stopped my Mum from videoing (yes, videos) Smallville and Charmed. Both have such big fan bases because quite simply, they are able to give a great price for their service and an affordable one. Their drawback with Sky’s new service is quite simply that, although they have been buying movie rights for years, they don’t have the back catalog that Sky has.
There’s no doubt that should Sky come out with a similar price plan, members of LoveFilm and NetFlix will undoubtedly switch allegiances.
Will this new service appeal to you?
Or are you a member of LoveFilm or NetFlix or a similar company and would you switch to NOW TV should they rival the prices you are currently paying?
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