IP&TV News caught up with Alice Mascia, Vice President Strategy, Sky Deutschland, to hear about the genesis of the broadcaster’s hugely successful Snap service.
IP&TV News: Hi Alice. Please tell us about the concept of Sky Snap?
Alice Mascia: In December 2013, we launched Snap – Sky’s new standalone online media library. It offers more than 5300 titles from the Sky Collection, including box sets of the biggest hits from HBO, many of them exclusive, complete seasons of award-winning series, the greatest movies of recent decades and an incredible selection of childrens’ programmes with exclusive highlights from the world of Disney. Snap grants the customer an instant and direct access to that content on demand on an increasing range of popular connected devices: on the web, iPad, iPhone/iPod touch, Samsung GALAXY tablets and smartphones as well as Samsung Smart TVs and Google Chromecast.
The Snap content catalogue complements the programming we show on our premium product. Usually you will find previous seasons of series that are currently broadcast on our platform on Snap. Just an example: the brand new season 9 of “24” was shown on Sky Atlantic HD and Sky Go, while seasons 1-8 were available on Snap. Editorially curated specials and playlists make it even easier and engaging for our customers to navigate through our content catalogue and decide which program to watch.
Snap is available to both Sky customers and non-Sky customers. For Sky customers, it’s a great addition to their subscription and they can access the catalogue through our standalone app as well as Sky Go. For our potential customers, Snap is a great entry point to the Sky experience. Snap is available to everybody at just €3.99 per month, and we offer a premium function called Snap Extra, which allows an additional concurrent stream plus the opportunity to download content to iOS devices at €6.99 per month.
What surprised you about the response to Snap?
Snap completely fulfilled our expectations. We received very positive feedback, both from our customers and non-Sky customers, as well as from the industry. The usage has a similar pattern as that of Sky Go – tablets are very important, as well as Smart TVs. We have just introduced Google Chromecast interoperability and the range of devices will increase overtime.
Sky Deutschland has been very successful with its innovation. What do you think has helped that in your approach?
Since 2010, we have placed even more focus on our customers and potential customers, as well as the quality of our content. So we have been able to grow our customer base from less than 2.5 million in the second quarter of 2010 to 3.8 million in the second quarter of 2014.
Over the last years we have changed the way we acquired content and secured a large volume of exclusive rights for sports, movies and series across all platforms. Our customers have the option to watch these quality programmes wherever and whenever they want – on the box and off the box – and this strategy has paid off since it’s our goal to provide the linear content also on demand. Looking at our customer growth, the loyalty of our customers and the willingness to recommend our offering, we see that we did things right.
What do you plan to discuss at the OTTtv World Summit?
I will focus on our online TV products, and on our journey, starting from 2010 with the launch of our first iPad sports app, up to today, to the development of Sky Go and Snap. To illustrate how we qualify and measure the success of our services, I will present some facts and figures. I will also talk about how we changed the way we acquired and scheduled content, explain the value chain for Sky and show differences between traditional TV providers and over-the-top innovators.
Alice Mascia will be appearing at the OTTtv World Summit (17-20 November 2014, London)