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Sky's third quarter earnings show huge rise in mobile viewing

Gains for mobile and video on demand for the satellite broadcaster
Thu Oct 17 2013, 12:24
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UK PAY TV OUTFIT Bskyb has released its third quarter financial results, along with some interesting revelations about our online viewing habits.

The Sky Go service, which allows users to watch selected channels from their Sky subscription on a range of devices including mobile phones, game consoles, tablets and PCs, has recorded a big jump in users of the service, suggesting that, at last, mobile viewing is beginning to come of age.

Sky reported a mobile year on year rise of 40 percent for Sky Sports and 50 percent for Sky Movies channels, while premium tier service Sky Go Extra, which allows downloads for a extra fiver a month, added 219,000 customers, taking the paid segment to 385,000 users out of the 3.3 million total.

Sky has remained notably guarded with its release of its mobile app. It is still only available to some handsets on Android, and we will be interested to see how those figures will increase as more and more screen sizes are supported.

Back in front of the telly, over half a million more subscribers have found where the CAT5 cable connects on the back of their set-top box, taking the total to an impressive 3.4 million, leading to a fourfold rise in use of the fledgling video on demand service. Given that not even iPlayer was available this time last year, that's not entirely surprising, but it shows once again that TV is moving to a more hybrid model. Having said that, it still represents only a third of set-top boxes, so there's still a long way to go.

As a final footnote, more people are watching Sky Sports, but it is unclear how many of them are using Sky's streaming service Now TV, which offers the Sports channels on a pay per view basis at a whopping £10 for 24 hours, making it more expensive than Sky's pay per view porn.

We asked Sky for a breakdown, but it declined, suggesting that perhaps those customised Roku boxes have yet to make much of an impact. µ

 

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