Sky to offer video on demand to Sky+ boxes

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Ever wondered what that spare storage capacity on your Sky+ box is for? Well now we know, for today Sky announced a couple of tweaks to its Sky+ service including the option of viewers being able to download programmes on demand. For the time being it will only be a limited number of programmes (a best of the week selection), but it is a service Sky needs to offer to keep pace with its cable and broadband (BT Vision) rivals. It will give more details soon.

Sky also announced that very soon users would be able to program their Sky+ boxes via the web. You may remember that last year Sky unveiled a service that enabled phone users to remotely program their box.

Sky also made couple of other key announcements today the most important of which was that its Sky+ service is now installed in over 2 million UK homes. This was due to a big spurt of sales in 2006.

Sky also published some research which it claims highlights how its box is changing viewing habits in the UK.

Here’s the full story from Sky.

Viewing behaviour in Sky+ homes

To coincide with the milestone of 2 million boxes, Sky has published new research findings highlighting how Sky+ is changing the TV viewing habits of families around the country. The data, garnered from the Sky View research panel, provides an accurate measurement of how customers are using Sky+ to record – or ‘time-shift’ – television programmes.

• Drama is the genre of programming most frequently recorded by Sky+ customers, accounting for 39.3% of all time-shifted viewing. Other popular genres are documentaries (14.9%), entertainment (13.0%) and movies (9.5%). In contrast, some genres of content remain at their most popular when consumed live. News and weather account for just 0.6% of time-shifted viewing by Sky+ viewers, while current affairs programmes account for 1.2%. (Source: Sky View)

• These trends are reflected in the ranking of channels whose programming is subject to most time-shifting by Sky+ viewers:
1. FX 33.1% of viewing is time-shifted (01/02/06-20/12/06)
2. More 4 27.7%
3. Hallmark 24.8%
4. Living TV 23.3%
5. ITV3 23.1%
Across all channels, time-shifting accounts for an average of 12.2% of total viewing through Sky+ boxes. (01/02/06-20/12/06)
(Source: Sky View)

• With the ability to record two programmes simultaneously, Sky+ resolves scheduling clashes and allows customers to record peak-time shows to watch at a more convenient time.
Sky View research shows that, in Sky+ households, time-shifting accounts for 22% of all viewing of programmes originally scheduled between 9pm and 10pm and 17% of all viewing of programmes scheduled between 10pm and 11pm. (Source: Sky View)

Ashley Norris

One thought on “Sky to offer video on demand to Sky+ boxes

  • This research could land Sky in trouble, do these channels really want the fact a lot of people time-shift their programmes, advertised? Basically saying that a lot of their advertising is wasted?

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