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Jeremy Darroch, CEO of BSkyB, was the first keynote of the two-day event, and he had an interesting revelation to make, namely, Sky is spinning-out a new brand to try and tap the 13m members of the UK public that don’t already have a paid-TV subscription package.
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We first reported on this proposed new service back in January, when Darroch announced that a new service would launch in the first half of this year, though it wasn’t specified at the time that it would run under its own brand.
Darroch is convinced Sky can step in and give this significant chunk of the UK populace what they want, when they want it. “We can reach out them and offer more ways to offer them content,” he says. “Later this year, we’re launching an over-the-top TV service. Starting with movies, it will expand to sport and then to entertainment. It will be on a pay-as-you go basis, no installation.”
The new brand is an interesting move too, and is indicative that it sees two distinct customer-types, and isn’t seeking to get everyone on a permanent, paid deal. “Having 2 brands will allow us to meet the needs of two distinct market segments,” says Darroch. “It will be a flexible, more spontaneous offering. It will be powered by Sky, offering the best, exclusive content all from a provider they can trust. Any notion that Sky is just a satellite broadcaster should be out the window now.”
Indeed, pointing to its other three main service offerings – Sport, Movies and Entertainment, Darroch says this will herald a new era for the broadcaster, as it seeks to tap a pretty big section of the UK public that only wants occasional access to certain sports or other entertainment programmes, without taking out a full subscription. “We’re building a new fourth leg of entertainment content,” he says. “This marks he next chapter in our story, and it’s one we’re very excited about.”
Darroch wouldn’t be pulled in to any discussion around the pricing of the new service, but we’re told that it will roll out across all standard Web-enabled devices, so – PCs, tablets, smartphones, games consoles and connected TVs. More details will be announced closer to launch.