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Sky Anytime’s early success, but not for channels

by User Not Found | Nov 12, 2007

One way of keeping people away from the video on their PC screens is to give them better television through their set-top boxes. Sky is one of the first broadcast platforms to offer "push-VOD" to digital TV customers through its Sky Anytime service. Around 1.5 million homes in the UK have Sky Digiboxes capable of accessing this service (including all their HDTV subscribers), which downloads selected (by Sky) programmes to the hard drive so that they are available for instant viewing. New Media Markets reports that Sky is claiming that Anytime is now the most popular "channel" after the five UK terrestrials. It doesn't back this up with the relevant data, but does indicate that viewers use Sky Anytime on average for 28.4 minutes each time they use it, which is more than ITV1, BBC1 or Channel 4. It also doesn't indicate the degree to which usage of Anytime is taking away from regular PVR usage, ie viewers watching their own recorded programmes. I have no doubt that Anytime is proving popular. Like all free VOD services it is an important reducer of churn and raises customer satisfaction. Sky's claim that it is a "channel", however, is stretching things a little. I can understand "platforms" wanting to see things this way, as they are selling the advertising for this product, but I'm not sure the TV channels themselves will concur. Right now, Sky gets all the advertising revenue around Sky Anytime programmes, so channels are effectively giving away their programmes for free. This cannot last. As Anytime increases its audience reach (it is only used by 3% of UK homes today), the channels will be demanding a fair cut of the cake or will withdraw their programmes from the service. Add to Technorati Favorites
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