We have the answer to one of the most interesting content packaging and marketing questions of the year, namely how Sky planned to integrate Netflix in an onboarding deal that went beyond hosting an app, single billing and universal search and recommendation. The answer is a brand new £10 a month subscription pack, available to Pay TV customers from November, that combines Netflix with Sky box-sets, on a 31-day rolling contract.
High-end Netflix is merged with high-end Sky, so that Sky Q Experience customers on the premium Sky offer with UHD and multiroom get the Netflix Premium plan with Ultra HD and four simultaneous streams (to different devices). Sky Q Entertainment subscribers get the Standard plan from Netflix featuring two simultaneous HD streams (and Sky box-sets in HD).
The cost of the new package, called Ultimate On Demand, is the same for Sky Q Entertainment and Experience customers. The bundling assumes that a Pay TV home without UHD and multiscreen extras on the main TV platform is probably not interested in UHD and extreme multiscreen on their Netflix subscription – which seems a fair bet. In some ways this package removes the division between SVOD and Pay TV to focus instead on the line between household types.
The new package is called Ultimate On Demand. Sky claims it will be the UK’s biggest on-demand TV service. The Sky box-sets cover 400 UK and US series. There are 2,000 hours of UHD content in total across Sky and Netflix. When it comes to recommendations, content from both services will share the spotlight on the Sky Q homepage.
The £10 fee is on top of the existing Sky Q subscriptions and is the same for new and existing customers. Existing Sky Q customers with Netflix can move their account to the new pack or instead sign in to the Netflix app on Sky Q using their current Netflix account details. Payment for the Ultimate On Demand pack will be added to monthly Sky bills, removing the need for separate payments for each service.
Netflix has been onboarded by lots of Pay TV operators worldwide, and some also combine billing, but this is the first time Netflix has cooperated with the creation of a bespoke subscription package that includes Pay TV operator content with its own under the same, combined price tag.
Sky has also demonstrated its desire to embrace Netflix by including the SVOD app on its NOW TV streaming devices, which also contain broadcaster streaming services from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Viacom’s Channel Five and UKTV. Gidon Katz, Managing Director of NOW TV, suggests: “Settle in and stream the shows you love, all in one place, as we end the struggle with TV inputs by adding Netflix to our NOW TV Smart Stick and Smart Box.”