Feeds

Sky's mobile movies move leaves Apple, Amazon gasping

It actually produces content, too...

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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? ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
Stylish Googlephones for not-so-deep pockets
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Ford's B-Max: Fiesta-based runaround that goes THUNK
... when you close the slidey doors, that is ...
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.