Sky Go isn't about the platform, it's about the content

Sky Go needs to be a revenue driver
Sky Go needs to be a revenue driver

Sky is readying itself for the launch of its new on-demand platform, Sky Go, which is set to offer up Sky content to those using an iOS device or a laptop.

Sky Go is a merging of Sky Player and Sky Mobile TV but it's not the platform that's important, according to Sky, but the content the platform delivers.

"Invariably, most of the headlines in our industry are reserved for sexy distribution stories like building fibre, new platforms like YouView, or this week's latest online darling, whether Hulu, Netflix or Amazon," said Mike Darcey, Chief Operating Officer, BSkyB at the IEA Future Of Broadcasting conference.

"That's a shame. And it's also a cause for concern. Because content is what consumers are really passionate about – and someone has to make it."

All about revenue

It seems that Sky is being pragmatic about its online venture, believing that it has to make new revenue out of it so that it can pipe this back into the programmes it makes.

"We've seen the rush to throw all your content online, in pursuit of 'uniques' and 'views', but little in the way of revenue.

"Now obviously it's fine for BBC to put everything online, as there are no revenue consequences. But is it right for commercial terrestrial broadcasters necessarily to follow suit?

"I guess that depends on whether they want to make online pay its way – you will have to ask them whether that is really working out."

Darcey continued: "For content owners, it's imperative that new distribution options support re-investment in content creation, rather than simply suck value from one part of the chain to another.

"In conclusion, the common thread that links many of these challenges is the need for a sensible balance to be struck between promoting investment in infrastructure and investment in content."

The Sky Go UK release date is 6 July.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.