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Sky shakes up UK’s catch-up TV market

The introduction of catch-up TV content by BSkyB has had a massive effect on the UK’s video-on-demand market over the past six months, according to digital media consultancy Decipher.

Sky’s catch-up proposition has grown from a small amount of content from ITV to include offerings from all of the country’s free-to-air broadcasters, as well as content from Sky’s own channels and others such as History and the Crime & Investigation network.

This expansion has succeeded in making Sky’s catch-up service the biggest available, in terms of both number of channels and total unique assets, although Decipher adds that it is actually the least-used when compared to YouView and Virgin’s TiVo platform.

Analyst Matt McNally comments: “Our view is that this is due in part to lack of promotions and awareness within the Sky base, its somewhat hidden nature on the user interface and the late arrival of the service.”

In terms of video-on-demand assets, Netflix dominates the UK market, followed by Virgin Media and Blinkbox, with Virgin’s large database of over 13k assets due to the presence of a “huge” array of music-on-demand.

The subscription approach taken by Netflix and LoveFilm will always mean that they feature older content – at least until the classic movie windowing approach changes – according to Decipher.

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