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Sky starts Spanish streaming service

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Sky has loosened the reigns for potential customers in Spain, offering a month-by-month streaming service for the more cash conscious consumers.

For only €10 a month, following a month free trial, customers will be able to shows like The Walking Dead, Big Bang Theory and Grey’s Anatomy, as well as hundreds of films on demand. The product seems to be designed for those who desire flexibility, and is a bit of a different move considering its business model in other markets.

“Sky’s new service offers customers a great value, no-strings relationship with their favourite shows for just €10 a month,” said David Nuñez, Director of Market Development in Spain.

“With a simple and intuitive solution, whether it’s watching the latest entertainment live or via catch-up, having the choice of the latest TV Series or enjoying hundreds of box office smash hits, this new service offers something for everyone.”

One explanation for the new offer might be Telefónica’s decision to expand the distribution of its Movistar+ pay-TV platform to other European countries. This is very much the Netflix-streaming style model, and if Telefónica can do it why can’t Sky.

For Sky it offers an interesting entry point into new markets, but success will be limited for the moment if it does not start to spray the cash around. Sure, some of the shows which it does have the rights for are popular worldwide, but unless there is a specific content plan in place to more readily engage local customers, it might not be a successful venture.

“For Sky, the launch into Spain makes sense and represents a key stepping stone towards grandeur aspirations of being a pan-European provider of pay TV services,” said Paolo Pescatore of analyst CCS Insight. “It needs more subscribers and Spain has seen an explosion in multi-play as well as online video services over the last couple of years. However, it will need to invest heavily in the long-term to raise its profile and acquire key local premium content rights.

“This new product will provide further disruption to a competitive cut throat market. We expect Sky to forge partnerships with local telcos replicating a proven strategy seen in other markets including Germany, Italy and the UK.”

Perhaps there should be little surprise Sky has made a move to crack new markets. Recent financial results have shown the room for growth is limited in the more established markets, the UK for instance, and at least Spain offers Sky the opportunity to focus on its core competency of content, as opposed to other bets such as the MNVO venture in the UK.

If this launch proves to be a success it could become somewhat of a springboard for a pan-European streaming business model for Sky, though it will have to be ready with the readies. Netflix and Amazon have both shown the streaming model can work, but there is a need to invest big in original and local programming. Whether Sky is prepared to do this remains another matter, but it certainly presents an interesting opportunity for the team.

  • TV Connect MENA


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