Dawn Aireys keynote on Tuesday was interesting. Running through some predictions for TV in 2015 Dawn made it clear that the PVR is at the heart of Sky thinking – albeit a PVR with a capacity for thousands of hours of programming - and that Sky believe that satellite will be the dominant distribution method rather than IPTV or VOD.
Two really interesting snippets though; first she repeated her view that some channels will switch from being ad supported to being subscription based (quoting HBO as a good example). Coming from someone at a company where ad revenue is only around 10% of the total revenues - and where a 1% reduction in churn would deliver higher revenues that ads currently do – that’s interesting. Although I can't really imagine anyone turning away £400m annual ad revenue
Second was Dawns hope to be remembered for alliteration other than the 3Fs* - the 3 Ws. She says Sky will deliver content to their customers in any form they want it - Whatever, Wherever, Whenever.
So we can expect to see Sky on a phone soon. But we wonder whether we’ll see Sky as a major player in mobile – why shouldn't’t they be an MVNO? They have a huge customer base and a strong brand - and given the profits to be made from discount telephony they should be able to make a few dollars too.
One huge advantage of having a Sky mobile brand would be the opportunity to use the mobile as the back channel - just by linking the mobile number with a subscribers set top box - to respond to votes, request information from advertisers etc. Much faster than the red button and much more flexible. Read our thinking on Brands as MVNOs