The launch of Sky Q this month has signified another step towards the “re-imagining” of TV in today’s fully-connected home.
Sky Q offers more content storage and more device integration than any other Sky products, and, most importantly for the wider industry, encourages viewing flexibility. According to Sky, the set up allows the viewer to watch what they want and when they want in the most dynamic way yet.
Improving on the popular Sky Go service, Sky Q offers a superior out-of-home viewing experience, including the ability to synchronise recorded shows from the Sky Q box to mobile devices. The multi-room offering has also vastly improved, including the ability to watch on five screens at the same time.
Sky has also introduced cross-device functionality – the ability to pick up viewing where it was left on another device, as part of the offering referred to as ‘Fluid Viewing’. In addition, the viewer will be able to record three shows whilst watching a fourth live – increasing to four shows whilst watching a fifth with Sky Q Silver.
Sky is hoping the offering will not only encourage current customers to upgrade but will convince brand new customers to take up subscriptions. Consequently this should help increase television ratings, especially on its must see ultra-definition programming such as Game Of Thrones, The Affair and Vinyl.
This increase in viewing figures, however, will likely be in the On Demand space, representing a further shift away from linear TV viewing. Taking Game of Thrones as an example, more than 70%* of the views of episode 1 in 2014 were live or recorded. But, with the introduction of Sky Q’s user-friendly interface, it is likely that many more viewers will access similar content On Demand.
Advertisers also need to be aware that Sky Q may accelerate the shift of Sky TV viewing into the multi-screen space, making VOD placements just as important as linear spots. Sequential messaging could also become a regular strategic planning method on Sky TV activity because Sky Q offers a clear, uninterrupted means to tell a brand story across devices. Following brand messaging, direct response advertising could therefore be at an advantage with Sky Q.
Another potential benefit for advertisers is that Sky Q will allow more detailed data capture opportunities for Sky, providing a deeper insight to its customers’ television consumption habits. If shared, we could utilise this household data in order to enhance targeting and subsequently assist measurement of brand performance against specific devices or advertising formats. The game-changer, however, would be if, rather than a household level, we were able to tap into individuals’ data.
*Source: BARB/Skyview /BSkyB: Simulcast TX : 07.04.14 BARB Individuals consolidated viewing, On Demand Individuals Consolidated Inclusive of Downloads, Sky Go based on downloads factored to BARB TS viewing