Sky and DDB illustrate the wonders—and dangers—of portability

Sky launched Sky Go, the long-awaited update to its online and catch-up service iSky, in October last year. And, after a fair bit of social media activity to promote the new website and mobile apps, it’s now launched a print and TV campaign via DDB that shows how easy—and potentially dangerous—it is for subscribers to ‘Watch On’.  

Depending on the subscription, Sky Go allows subscribers to beam up to ten channels direct to an iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC, “all while walking the dog, or perhaps while the dog walks you” (Sky says it’s working hard to bring the service to more devices in the future). 

While innovations like these are obviously handy—and, as the live-streaming stats from the America’s Cup showed, increasingly popular—they also promote phubbing and the ad shows the potential dangers of watching while walking. Perhaps Sky should provide avid Sky Go users with free guide dogs to avoid catastrophes. 

Head of corporate comms Kirsty Way says the app was downloaded over 46,000 times in the first month after release, and it’s pleased with that number as the promotion of it has been taken place through social media and direct with existing customers. She wasn’t able to provide any more figures on the number of streams or time spent viewing, but hopes to have that information available next week.  

She says the new campaign is aimed primarily at alerting existing subscribers to the fact that the service is available, rather than attempting to attract new customers. 

“It’s something our subscribers have wanted, and it gives them better value, so we’re encouraging them to use it.”

As well as the service itself, it’s also promoting some programming based features, like the two additional channels being made available online to stream The Australian Open. 

Way says there are “no firm plans” for the online service to be sold as a separate product, thereby potentially removing the need for a standard subscription—and potentially attracting viewers who prefer to access their content online on their own terms. But she says it’s always looking at new business models so it’s a possibility, although she says existing subscribers would not pay extra for such a service. 

In an article in the Herald, in which Morningstar analyst Nachi Moghe said Sky’s revenue will slow over the next five years, offering online-only subscriptions was one of his predictions. 

“We think the firm has reach an inflection point in terms of subscriber penetration. Also, we believe free-to-air subscribers who are currently not with Sky TV will mostly opt for the lower-cost Igloo service, which is a joint venture between Sky TV and state broadcaster TVNZ.”

Moghe said that meant future growth was likely to come mainly through increases in average revenue per user which Sky TV could do through its multi-room offer coupled with an upgrade to its MySky personal video recorder due to be completed by December.

“The MySky upgrade will enable Sky TV to provide a whole host of new programs and applications that are not currently available,” he said.

Sky was also offering content over the internet which was currently free to subscribers but could be chargeable in the future.

When the Sky Go service was launched, Sky senior product manager Alex Winter said: “More than 70 percent of our customers have a smartphone or tablet and that number continues to grow rapidly.”

At present, the Sky Go app gives users access Sport 1, 2, 3 and 4, Movies Premiere, BBC World News, National Geographic, E!, UKTV and Cartoon Network, but the broadcaster said it will add to this lineup in the near future. 

Those who want to catch their favourite Sky shows outside of standard scheduling times will have to continue relying on the Sky website until June next year, when Sky has announced plans to extend the app to include an on-demand element.

“The next phase of this project will see video on-demand and further live streamed channels added to the app, meaning our customers will be able to access even more of our premium content via their mobile devices,” says Winter. 

Way also told StopPress back in August that the broadcaster was aware people were using iSky unfairly by sharing passwords and they were looking for “ways to close this loophole.” Sky has limited the number of mobile devices that can be registered via the Sky Go app on a single account to two. 

But this still leaves a question mark regarding the longevity of multiroom, in the sense that an HDMI cable can now be used to connect a mobile device to a television, thereby removing the need to pay the subscription fees for an additional decoder.


Client: Sky
Marketing Director: Mike Watson
Marketing Manager: Aaron Stone

Product Marketing Manager: Lucy Hoult

Agency: DDB Group New Zealand

Executive Creative Director: Andy Fackrell
Creative Director: Chris Schofield
Art Director: Zac Lancaster
Copywriter: Tom Cunliffe
Senior Account Director: James Blair
Account Manager: Kamilla Harker

Planner: Craig McLeod

Executive Agency Producer: Judy Thompson

Agency Producer: Jane Mill

Production Company: The Sweet Shop
Director: Sam Holst
Producer: Ben Dailey
DOP: John Toon
Grade: Pete Richie – Blockhead
Post production: Blockhead

Music: Original composition – Maxwell Scott
Sound: Craig Matuschka – Liquid Studios

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