Sky: We are now playing catch-up to consumers

Sky: We are now playing catch-up to consumers
Consumers getting more tech savvy, says Darcey

It used to be the case that Sky would innovate and have to explain to its customers how to use its new tech – but now the tables have turned.

Speaking at the Future Entertainment Summit in London this week, Mike Darcey, Chief Operating Officer, BSkyB, admitted that Sky are no longer second-guessing its users with its new releases but now it is playing catch up with consumer demand.

Citing Sky+ as one innovation Sky had to teach and encourage its customers to use, he admits that, with the consumer expectation higher than ever before, Sky is now finding it difficult to keep up.

"When I first joined Sky, I felt like we were ahead of the consumer. We gave consumers things they didn't know they wanted," explained Darcey.

"Today, the opposite is the case – customer expectations have caught up and run away from us and we are scrambling to catch up."

On the go

One of the reasons for this doesn't seem to be the technology but more to do with rights management. Darcey notes that customers want the ability to take recorded content off of their boxes and watch it on the go – a gap Sky Go is currently trying hard to plug.

"The customer wants to take things off their Sky box and watch it on the move and that's fair enough – for us, this is really hard with viewing rights and the like."

Darcey did say that Sky's mobile service Sky Go is doing very well, however, and we should see more innovations in the platform.

"Television is becoming more mobile and mobile TV was an interesting idea when we got involved in 2005 but we were ahead of our time. It was clunky.

"Today, things have changed enormously – it has been transformed by an improvement in 3G, and rescued by Wi-Fi and Apple.

"There are now more than 10 million live streams a week on Sky Go – we have made this technology simple and accessible for the mass market."

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.