Sky Q, which the broadcaster describes as the next generation of TV, will go on sale in February with Sky’s lowest ever set-up cost for a brand new premium product launch. Set-up costs for Sky Q will be from just £99 (€130). The typical monthly cost for existing Sky+ customers will be around £12 extra compared with their current Sky+ package. For new customers joining Sky, the ongoing monthly cost for Sky Q will start from just £42
Sky Q will be available to buy from Tuesday 9 February, with home installations beginning at the end of the month.
As a premium product, Sky Q comes with an entirely new level of customer service. For the first time ever, Sky Q customers will receive servicing and mechanical fault repairs at no extra cost. In addition, customers will have access to a dedicated premium service centre based in the UK. And everyone taking Sky Q – whether an existing Sky customer or new to Sky – will get a full professional installation as part of the set-up cost, to ensure they fully benefit from all the great features of Sky Q and Fluid Viewing.
Stephen van Rooyen, Chief Marketing, Sales & Digital Officer, Sky, said: “We’ve had a fantastic reaction to Sky Q. So I’m delighted to reveal the news that people will be able to get Sky Q for our lowest ever set-up cost for a new premium product. We wanted to completely re-imagine TV, making it flexible and seamless across the screens in our lives. With Sky Q and Fluid Viewing that’s exactly what we’ve done – giving people the best TV tech on the market today, at a really accessible price. We think people will love it.”
A brand new family of Sky’s most advanced products – including Sky Q, Sky Q Silver, Sky Q Mini, Sky Q touch remote, the Sky Q Hub and the Sky Q app, all connect wirelessly to create an ecosystem that makes TV viewing seamless – called Fluid Viewing.
Sky Q will launch with two brand new bundles. The Sky Q Bundle gives customers the benefits of Fluid Viewing, together with the very best range of entertainment content from Sky – including:
The Sky Q Silver Bundle gives you everything from the Sky Q Bundle, plus:
All customers who already have Sky Broadband or who purchase Sky Broadband when buying Sky Q will also receive the new Sky Q Hub that turns Sky Q boxes into Wi-Fi hotspots, giving a supercharged Sky Broadband experience with the strongest and best coverage throughout the home. Sky Q installations will be phased with Sky Broadband customers receiving the product first, before very soon opening up to those with other broadband providers.
After launch, Sky Q will keep getting better for customers with a pipeline of innovative new features, including a powerful new voice search capability. In addition, the Fluid Viewing experience will come to even more screens with a new app for smartphones to follow.
“This punchy offer is more aggressive than we had anticipated,” Paolo Pescatore, Director, Multiplay and Media at CCS Insight. “Rivals should be concerned with Sky Q and its potential for further disruption. Articulating the vast array of features will be a challenge. Despite this, Sky has a long track record in successfully marketing any new services and we firmly believe that Sky Q will be no exception.”
“In addition, it is another good set of results from Sky. The company fails to disappoint despite growing competition on all fronts. It was an important period for Sky given the loss of UEFA Champions league rights as BT has been heavily focussed on subscriber growth for its TV service. We still believe that the majority of TV growth in the UK is coming from its NOW TV service. Its European operations also performed well from a subscriber perspective.
All eyes are now on the launch of its new Sky Q service which will transform TV viewing. Lack of a high street presence will significantly hamper its ability to grow. More in communicating new services such as Sky Q and mobile to customers.”
Speaking before Sky announced details of pricing and availability, Pescatore described the service as “long overdue”, suggesting that rivals and in particular web giants have stepped up their efforts in video and brought to market innovative set-top-boxes. “Sky Q will not disappoint. People will be blown away with the overall service. However, articulating the vast array of features will be a challenge. Having said this Sky traditionally has done a superb job in marketing any new service and I firmly believe that Sky Q will be no exemption. In the first instance this is a premium offering targeting loyal Sky households.
There are some shortcomings. One of the major obstacles is the inability for people to take recordings from their existing box to the new one. The sleek, sexy and revamped remote control will not offer voice from day one, but does support it. Others include no Ultra HD 4K content from day one but the box supports it. Overall, Sky must be applauded for bringing a best in class box and service to market. By opening up the Sky platform to third parties, Sky will position Sky Q as a broad entertainment service for the entire household.
This is just the beginning and believe that it will be a key platform for content owners and for its own foray into the smart home; Sky Q box could be coupled with other connected devices to allow it to act as a central home control point. It’s an opportunity for additional revenue streams and service stickiness when Sky lacks other media such as games, which make up a key part of its rivals’ hardware.
Consumer behaviour has changed, and Sky is clearly acknowledging that users — particularly younger ones — regard devices differently. Users now binge or snack on content at the time and place of their choosing. Sky’s new device could be the most impressive set-top box we’ve seen to date, stuffed with hardware, software features underpinned by a cloud-based architecture.”