It sounds as though Rupert Murdoch is having a good morning. Sky have announced some big new “connected TV” stats, changes to the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) and the addition of 31 new on-demand channels coming to their Sky+HD platform.
The re-designed EPG is in light of an increasing shift to on-demand – with linear TV now only one of several different options. As you can see from the above screenshot, Sky are clearly keen to push viewers further in the direction of the premium on-demand offerings from the Sky Store.
It’s no surprise when you look at the numbers – apparently 4.4 million Sky customers now have their box connected to the internet, and astonishingly over a million were added in the last three months – averaging 11,000 new connected users a day. Astonishing.
Apparently in 2013, there were over 450 million on demand requests through Sky+HD too – with 770 million on Sky Go, the Sky mobile viewing platform. Big numbers indeed. Over Christmas, on demand requests apparently hit 35 million – 50% up on Christmas 2011, so on-demand viewing is clearly taking off in a big way.
The other big announcement today though is perhaps the launch of 4 new catch-up channels, that can be viewed akin to the BBC iPlayer. The UKTV channels that are launching on demand are Dave, Gold, Watch and Alibi – so good news for fans of Top Gear, Only Fools & Horses and regional detective dramas. The brings the total number of catch-up services on Sky to 60.
These channels will apparently be available from today, with the EPG updates coming later in Spring.