On March 1, 2018 telecommunications giant Sky has announced a collaboration with the Californian entertainment company Netflix. This deal marks a historical turning point for the future of the whole television market. Starting from the coming year, Sky users in the UK, Ireland and Italy will in fact be able to access Netflix as part of a new subscription package, thus combining the wide variety of original Sky productions with Netflix originals. Britannia, Billions, Big Little Lies, Game of Thrones will be together in one collection with The Crown, Stranger Things, and Black Mirror: What else would you need for a cosy Saturday night all about TV-series and popcorn?
Netflix and Sky: Competing and compromising
The partnership arrives after a long period of strict competition between the two companies, aimed at reaching the biggest possible audience to keep the primacy within the media market. As a matter of fact, the emerging power of Netflix, who went from 2.7 million household subscriptions in the UK to 7.3 million in 2017, put the already established Sky to the test. On the other hand, Sky, despite experiencing a decline in its subscriber numbers, seems to be willing to implement important changes in their content and policies to reach younger audiences.
Personalisation as the key of users’ experience
Sky is currently investing in loads of innovations. One of those is a brand-new menu design with a strong focus on users’ personalisation. Here, Sky Q customers will be provided with a virtual space, entirely dedicated to their favourite channels and programmes. People will be able to have a look at their last recordings or pick a new programme among the ones appositely suggested for them. Different mood, different television genre: “Box Sets”, “Movies”, and “Catch-Up TV” will ensure every person gets what he or she wants. The purpose of the new design is to improve the subscribers’ content experience, enabling them to discover and select everything that suits their interests the most through the use of “algorithmic recommendations”. Nevertheless, thanks to the great variety of choices available, the audience’s mind is constantly positively challenged in a process that broadens mindset and personal inclinations.
Voice commands, HDR and new collaborations
The technological development plays a fundamental role in the new strategies adopted by Sky. Now imagine. You are sitting on your super comfortable couch, crouched in a blanket, all ready to enjoy a wintry film session without any thoughts crossing your mind. You are just about to sing victory, but you realize that you forgot the remote control on the shelf. So. Far. Away. Poor you. What now? Breath in, this could be your lucky day.
Thanks to the new Sky decoder featuring voice search, many family feuds due to the fateful “whosgoingtostandup?” may finally come to an end. Apparently, it will now be possible to pick a channel or a movie by merely pronouncing a few “magic” words. Moreover, thanks to launch of HDR on Sky’s “flagship set-top box”, viewers will be offered the best “definition and clarity available” on the market. In this way, the consumption of Ultra HD content will become even more powerful. Furthermore, a new collaboration between Sky and the streaming services Spotify and Apple Music will merge different kinds of entertainment all into one.
Could this be the beginning of a new “golden age” of television?
Cover:/ Final Editor: Kyle Hassing