Sky Enters Internet TV Market, But Will Now TV Be Able To Rival Lovefilm and Netflix?

July 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Features

It’s finally here! The service that lets you have your TV now rather than later. The Sky service that allows you to watch the film you want when you want instead of you having to adhere to some sort of archaic “scheduling system?. Come to think of it, how did people happily exist with schedules? It boggles my 21st century content-saturated mind…

I’m sure you all want to know where you can dig into this all-you-can-eat, on-demand movie feast? Well I’m here to tell you that as of now, you can get it at Now TV, Sky’s answer to content delivery behemoth’s Netflix and Lovefilm.

So what’s the big idea here? Well according to Stephen Van Rooyen, Sky’s managing director of sales and marketing, Now TV will allow the broadcaster the opportunity to “extend its reach to the 13 million households which do not subscribe to a paid TV service” in the UK.

Apparently the decision to call it something totally different and separate it from the Sky brand was very deliberate, as they didn’t want there to be any confusion between the full Sky offering – which requires a satellite dish and a pricier monthly subscription – and this new pay-as-you-go offering which just needs an internet connected device.

After running a rather late-to-the-party eye over its competitors, the platform is predictably competitively priced. You can rent movies from 99p to £3.49 a pop and if you like to consume your cinematic entertainment at a rate of knots then you can get unlimited access to their sizeable catalogue of 1,000 movie for £15 a month.

Even so, £15 a month isn’t that cheap when shopping around and in such economic circumstances, Sky are taking a big gamble by entering a competitive and established market at the top-end. As such, NowTV better deliver on content. In order to keep their users happy they’ve promised five whole new movies every Friday and they’ve stated that there “will be three-quarters of all top 100 movies in the UK on offer?.

I don’t know what that means but it sounds overwhelming adequate so well done. The selection is good (easily outperforming its rivals on new releases) but the all-you-can-eat price is a tad high. At first glance it seems your best bet is therefore to use it as a highly slick and convenient rental service rather than a mainstay of your day-to-day cinematic life, but we haven’t had time to get our teeth into it properly just yet.

Further than this, they’ve made damn sure that you’ll never have the problem of being far from all this glorious output. Straight from the off (which off-ed 2 days ago) NowTV is available on Android, PC, and Mac with iOS getting the service later this month and Xbox 360 owners (don’t worry, you don’t have to admit that you own one here) able to access it soon. When YouView finally launches properly you’ll able to get it there too and to mop up the stragglers Sky will be tossing a bone to PS3 owners whenever they bally well feel like it.

Not content with simply distracting film fans however, Sky plan to extend the platform to include sport and drama so they’re nothing if not all-pervasive. So here it is. It’s the beginning of Sky’s bid for on-demand media domination. May the best platform win.

For more information on NOW TV.. Go to #nowtv

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Martyn Drake says:

The problem is that it’s far too late for BSkyB to enter the streaming market successfully. While they have been beavering away with their satellite business, other companies such as Netflix have been busy building up their own infrastructures and getting in there first – clearly Netflix had the foresight to see that online streaming IS a viable business (despite the grumblings over the DVD rental side of things).

It’s much more than just the content – and I don’t think BSkyB understands that.

Nik says:

this is why this service won’t succeed – crap crap crap crap

Now TV review: It’s absolutely crap..
Posted on July 17, 2012 by Martyn
The Now TV Saga: Day One (this page), Day Two, Day Three, and finally: I quit!..

Note: BSkyB are referring to this launch as their “beta phase? – so caveat emptor and all that – but even so, I feel this is far worse than a beta. The purpose of a free trial is to evaluate a service, it is not there to do unpaid beta testing for them. BSkyB for that alone deserves a slap. Now read on..

First things first, BSkyB: why the hell do you not completely delete Sky ID data when customers leave your service? Upon attempting to sign-up for the free 30 day trial of Now TV (or NOW TV – their documentation can’t decide whether to be shouty or not) all I got was grief from having to try and figure out what my credentials were from many years ago when I was foolishly a BSkyB satellite customer.