Almost seven months since its launch, Sky Go - our service that allows Sky TV customers to watch TV on the move at no extra charge - is now attracting 1.5 million unique users per month.
For the team who developed the service, it’s hugely rewarding to see how enthusiastically Sky customers have grasped the opportunity to watch their favourite content on the move. Given the high level of consumer demand, I’m pleased to today be able to announce two very significant developments to Sky Go that will be rolling out over the next month.
Firstly, we will be making Sky Go available on a selection of Android smartphones starting with Samsung Galaxy and HTC handsets. We fully appreciate how much Android users have been looking forward to the launch of Sky Go, and we’ve done everything we can to make sure that our bespoke design for Android handsets is worth waiting for.
Secondly, we will be expanding the content on offer on smartphones and iPad by adding the Sky Entertainment channels to Sky Go. This will kick off with the addition of Sky Atlantic to Sky Go today, and will be followed by Sky 1, Sky Living and Sky Arts 1 within the next month. In March, the brand new Sky Sports F1TM channel will also launch on Sky Go.
It’s all part of the process of constant evolution that the Sky Go service has seen since its launch last July.
When it launched last summer, usage of the service was driven by the desire of customers to catch premium live sport wherever they happened to be, with Premier League football helping the service hit new heights during its early months. Coverage of the Premier League double header between Spurs vs. Liverpool and Man Utd vs. Chelsea on Sunday 18th September helped Sky Go achieve record figures for live content views of 1.9m, as fans used the service to dip in and out of the action whilst on the move.
What’s especially fascinating to see is how far we have come on from there: coverage of critical matches between Spurs vs. Man City and Arsenal vs. Man Utd on another Super Sunday on the 22nd January smashed the previous record of 1.9m daily live views with ease, registering an overall total of 3.1m live content views during a dramatic day at the top of the Premier League.
Sky Go made another leap in November by adding on-demand functionality for iPhones, iPod touch and iPad, meaning that Sky Movies customers were able to access more than 600 movies on demand. Over its first six months, the top three movies on Sky Go were Jackass 3, Grown Ups and Despicable Me.
Whilst Sky Go is available using a 3G connection, it’s no secret that to achieve the best possible TV viewing experience on mobile devices it’s preferable to access a Wi-Fi signal. That’s why we will also shortly be launching a public Wi-Fi service that will provide Sky Broadband Unlimited customers with free access to more than 10,000 WiFi hotspots across the UK, including the Pizza Express and Wagamama restaurant chains and hundreds of other public venues and locations throughout the country, providing Sky customers with seamless access to our content, wherever they happen to be.
Available free of charge as a bonus for Sky customers, Sky Go adds value to a Sky subscription by allowing our customers to enjoy Sky content on devices other than their set-top box. Today we have also announced that within the next few months we will be launching a new service with an innovative pricing structure that will allow greater numbers of people to watch some of the great content we offer.
The new service, available to anyone in the UK with a broadband connection, will offer some of Sky’s most popular programming with customers able to choose from a variety of pricing options, from paying monthly for unlimited access to Sky Movies, to renting movies on a simple, pay-as-you-go basis. A customer will be able to use this service across PC, Macs, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, games consoles and Connected TVs.
It’s not all about watching TV on the go, we continue to innovate on the main TV screen. During the last three months of 2011, use of our video on-demand service Sky Anytime+ increased by 80%, and we hope that two enhancements announced earlier this week will further fuel its success.
In big news for on-demand TV, we will be bringing BBC iPlayer and ITV Player to the service this year, complementing the best of pay-TV with the best of free-to-air programming. We’re also widening access to Sky Anytime+ by opening it up to all Sky+HD homes across all broadband providers - meaning that more than five million customers can now access Anytime+.
With recent Mintel research revealing that the average UK home now contains six separate screens that can be used for watching TV , we realise the importance of continuing to innovate across multiple screens. Whether it’s in the living room on your TV, or on the smartphone in your pocket, our customers respond very positively to new experiences on different platforms, and so long as that demand is there, we’ll continue to respond to it.