Feeds

Sky's mobile movies move leaves Apple, Amazon gasping

It actually produces content, too...

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

It has been five years since Apple unveiled its TV tuner – and it increasingly looks like Cupertino missed the boat.

Sky this week added on-demand movies to its Sky Go service, which means anyone already on the platform can view shows from the couch on a mobile or a tablet. Sky’s 11 live linear channels are also available for mobile streaming, which is over Wi-Fi only for now, with 3G streaming being added next year. Sky doesn’t care what device you use – so long as you pay your sub. You don’t need a satellite dish or a TV, basic sign-up costs £20 per month.

This ought to put some of the recent hype about Amazon and Apple, which comes almost entirely from technology correspondents, into perspective. Both want to make money from couch consumption, but neither of them produces the stuff people want to watch. Traditionally entertainment industry has been vertically integrated – from Thorn EMI to Philips – and still is today. Let’s see how they go about it.

Amazon is a retailer that takes a small margin on a high turnover of consumer goods. It has begun making its own devices. Apple started with devices and moved into retail, taking a smaller margin, but since its hardware is highly desirable, and commands a high margin, that doesn’t really matter. Neither Apple nor Amazon create their own content, so when they license it, they don’t have any particular market clout. (With newspapers, magazines and books you can see Apple and Amazon trying to drive up their margins, but these moves are meeting fierce resistance).

Everyone has overlooked the established intermediaries – companies who already have large audiences and paying subscribers, of which Sky is the largest here. In some cases they also make their own content, in the traditional fashion. What Sky has done is make the hardware as invisible as possible. Where it couldn’t do this, it played along nicely with whatever hardware people want to use: laptops, phones or tablets. The piece of hardware was not something to be fetishized, but is simply a means to an end.

Bearing in mind that Sky has the happiest customers, you wonder what the fuss was ever about. So long as your no-name phone, tablet or PC can play the stuff you want to watch, and the EPG works, why would you care? ®

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Man buys iPHONE 6 and DROPS IT to SMASH on PURPOSE
Yarrrgh! 'Tis Antipodean insanity, ye crazy swab
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share
Not four. Point four. Count yer booty again, Microsoft
Your chance to WIN the WORLD'S ONLY HANDHELD ZX SPECTRUM
Reg staff not allowed to enter, god dammit
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.