Interview: Sky TV's Brian Lenz

One major are of growth at the moment is the arrival of Smart or connected TV services – but Lenz insists that Sky's policy of looking to companion devices, phones or tablets for example, is the right one.

"We have the view that the companion device is the far more powerful place to bring advanced functionality," Lenz says."If you look at connected TV services the apps and widgets they put on are things like Facebook and Twitter.

"They are up there for various reasons but the main thing that they are trying to offer is access to content, they are trying to create a content distribution business.The facts are that we already have it, and it's called Sky TV.

Connected tvs

"Throwing other apps in is fine, but the only thing making it worthwhile is getting to content," he continues

"The real question of something like those apps is 'are they putting them up just to have lots of things to say and is it cluttering TV viewing?'

"Or are you much better of with something like an iPad where I can do whatever I want while watching TV and the TV still has its pristine big image?

"I can barely get my kids to tolerate me looking at the guide, so the interesting question is are there enough reasons where you can use these apps unobtrusively."

Sky+ app for ipad

For these reasons, Lenz has been focused on bringing applications that allow functionality alongside the television rather than on it.

"Right now we are very excited at what we are doing with the companion device with things like the Sky+ app or Sky News Insider," he continues

"We've spent a lot of time in interactive, and we have learned a lot of things. It's not that interactivity isn't valued to a degree, it's just not the primary use case – which is obviously watching television.

"There's a lot of talk about convergence, and I think we all thought that it would be on what screen, but what we are finding in the service provider world is that we can offer a convergence of service across whichever device is appropriate at that time, be it mobile, computer or television.

"I also think that our work on the companion device gives us the chance to experiment.

"Our smallest user base if for Sky+ HD and that's 3.5 million people so if we get something wrong there for 80 per cent of our user base then we have 3 million pissed off people!

"In the app space you can experiment and we can see if the things that work for us there can be put onto the television in an unobtrusive way that will really enhance the experience."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.