Advanced Television

Sky on-demand up 400%

May 2, 2013

skytvBSkyB’s Q3 numbers reveal Sky subscribers are watching more on demand content than ever with the average number of weekly downloads reaching 4.5 million in the first three months of the year, an increase of 460 per cent on the same time last year.

Sky added 30,000 new television subscribers in the first quarter with the rise in popularity of its new Internet service, Now TV. It no longer splits DTH and online subs and some analysts think DTH has plateaued. BSkyB prefers to focus on the total paid-for products subscribers take – including customers taking products including broadband, telephony, HD and its new Sky Go Internet TV service – which grew by 715,000 in the quarter to 30.2 million. This represents quarter-on-quarter growth of 16 per cent.

Sky revealed that during the first three months of 2013 an average of 45,000 customers connected their Sky box to broadband each week.  In total, more than 2.3 million Sky customers have now connected their Sky boxes to the Internet, up from 600,000 a year ago. Sky didn’t reveal the popularity of Now TV’s new £9.99 (€12) sport ‘day pass’ – the first time it has ever allowed access to prime content such as Premier League football without a Sky TV subscription.

ARPU rose £8 in the quarter to £576. Churn rose from 10.1 per cent to 10.8 per cent year on year. BSkyB said that in the nine months to the end of March revenue climbed 6 per cent year on year to £5.3bn, with adjusted profit before tax up 9 per cent year on year to £934m.

Other highlights from the quarter include:

  • A record-breaking level of on demand viewing on Sky Movies, with more than 200 million on demand views over the last 12 months
  • A new weekly record of 5.8 million downloads, driven by the launch of Sky Movies Disney, with Sky Movies accounting for nearly a third of all downloaded content during Easter week
  • 1.4 million on demand views of episodes from the first two seasons of Game of Thrones across Sky’s on demand services in the week following the launch of the third season
  • A 37 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of movie rentals on Sky.  The best performing title in the quarter was Skyfall, with more than 400,000 Sky customers renting the film so far.

To build on the popularity of on demand, Sky has confirmed that connected customers can now enjoy on demand previews of the first episodes of shows including Hannibal, Mad Dogs, Trollied and The Borgias. The first episode of each series will be available to download on demand a week before they launch on Sky’s entertainment channels, with the première of the much-anticipated US drama Hannibal available right now to download ahead of its début on Sky Living. As well as downloading content to their connected Sky+HD set-top box, Sky customers can enjoy on demand content from Sky’s Showcase service, where on demand content is stored on the Sky+ box, and on Sky’s multiplatform TV service, Sky Go.

Luke Bradley-Jones, Sky’s Director of TV Products, comments: “Our customers are really embracing our on demand service, which offers the UK’s biggest selection of catch-up TV, alongside hundreds of movies on demand and TV box sets. It’s also no wonder that tens of thousands are connecting their Sky+HD box to their home broadband each week to access great TV and movies on demand – and now including previews of the first episodes of new Sky series like Mad Dogs and Hannibal.”

“We know that customers who use our connected TV services watch more of our programmes and really value it.  That’s why we are working hard to get even more Sky homes connected.”

In home communications, Sky added 152,000 broadband customers and 186,000 telephony and line rental customers.  By the end of the quarter, 34 per cent of Sky customers took all three of TV, broadband and telephony, up from 31 per cent a year ago.




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