Now TV: Sky takes on Netflix and Lovefilm
SKY has announced the launch of Now TV, its pay as-you-go internet TV service.
Priced at £15 (€19) a month, the initial offering will just be restricted to movies, putting the service head to head with Lovefilm and Netflix.
The service goes live on PCs, Android mobile phones and Macs. Later this year Now TV will be available on iOS devices, YouView (the new BBC-backed internet-connected set-top boxes), PS3s and Xboxes.
People can either pay £15 a month for access to over 600 movies, including the latest film releases and classics, as well as up to five new and exclusive Sky Movie premieres every Friday.
Alternatively people can choose to rent movies through Now TV with the price of a film starting at 99p and going up to £3.49 - depending on how recently it was released.
Before the end of the year, Sky will add its sports channels to Now TV and at some point during 2013 – will also make its entertainment content available too.
Interestingly Now TV will not be offered in HD on any device – still a main selling point of Sky’s regular offering.
Stephen Van Rooyen, Sky’s managing director of sales and marketing, said that Now TV would allow Sky the opportunity to ‘extend its reach to the 13 million households which do not subscribe to a paid TV service’ in the UK.
He told The Telegraph that Sky had deliberately decided to call the service something totally different and separate to the Sky brand as they didn’t want there to be any confusion between the full Sky offering – which requires a satellite dish and a pricier monthly subscription – and this new pay-as-you-go offering which just needs an internet connected device.
He also said that Now TV’s main competitors would be Lovefilm and Netflix.
Both services are much cheaper than Now TV’s movie offering - with Lovefilm costing from £4.99 a month and Netflix from £5.99 a month.
Van Rooyen defended Sky’s high price point saying: “We think our offering represents value as no other service in the UK is offering as many new films with five new premieres a week. We didn’t want to offer a service which was similar to ones out there at the moment.”
He also admitted that Sky had no plans to upsell Now TV customers to a full satellite Sky TV package. Analysts have pointed out that people may stop their full Sky subscription in favour of Now TV as it adds more content.
Now TV is the latest in a line of releases by Sky which allow consumers to access its content without the need for a satellite dish. Previous releases include Sky Go and Sky Player.
However, it is the first pay-as-you-go offering from the broadcaster.
From tomorrow people can sign up for a free 30-day trial of the movies service.