Speaking at an Enders Analysis conference in London, Darroch said the expansion of Sky that has brought in businesses in Germany and Italy would see a step change in its approach to the rollout of new services and technology.
“As an enlarged group, we can accelerate innovation by sharing capabilities across our markets. We will identify best practice – whether in Italy, Germany or the UK – and apply it across the group. By bringing together our product development, we will work collectively on a shared platform and roadmap across all our territories.”
Sky would build on its connected proposition that has seen two-thirds of Britain’s installed base connect to the internet. “The impact on viewing behaviour is dramatic. On Demand downloads are up 40% year-on-year and, in a reversal of linear viewing patterns, pay content outstrips free-to-air by a ratio of around two to one,” said Darroch
In Italy the figure is about a third, though Darroch admitted Germany was at a much earlier stage.
He announced plans to bring Restart to the UK following its introduction in Italy; the concept, popular in the Nordic market, allows viewers to go back to the start of a show.
Darroch also told his audience that Sky intended to push OTT further in its international markets. It follows the launch of Sky Online – a product akin to the UK’s NOW TV – in Germany and Italy. “We’re just getting going with these OTT services and we see a lot of potential in this area.”
Sky Store also has the potential international expansion. Revenues for the Store, which can be accessed through the On Demand platform, have risen 90%. Darroch said Sky was exploring the possibility of rolling it out in other markets.