Sky continues its growth path, edging ever closer to passing TalkTalk in terms of broadband customer numbers. Sky as of 30th June 2012 had 4,001,000 broadband customers, adding 138,000 in the last quarter, and 666,000 in the last 12 months.
Sky has in the last 12 months expanded its reach beyond the TV and internet connections, to offering a range of applications for PC, smartphones and tablets helping to ensure that as the TV becomes less of the central focus in the lounge that they will not lose out. The next version of the iPad Sky+ application will allow people to control their Sky set-top box too.
Sky while appearing to offer lots of free new content to subscribers, e.g. Sky AnyTime+ and free WiFi had actually increased its ARPU by £10 in the last 12 months to £548 and the number taking a triple play of products has increased by 5 percentage points to 32% (3.4m customers are on a triple play bundle). The number of sign-ups to the Sky LLU platform was 165,000 in the quarter, showing the same pattern as with TalkTalk, that growth continues for LLU services, but the off-net products with their surcharge are becoming less popular.
NOW TV was recently launched, and while it has been a relatively quiet launch to date, some £30m is estimated to be required for its marketing campaign. The Roku streaming device looks likely to drive the take-up due to the low cost of the hardware, and with the firm raising $45 million of investment from News Corp, BSkyB and others the platform is likely to become more widely known. The size of the BSkyB equity investment is $10m, with this money allowing them to rebrand and distribute Roku streaming devices in the future.
The investment in Roku is a good way of ensuring that IPTV will not decimate Sky's position in the market for premier sport and movie services. It will also allow those living in flats to avoid the expense of paying for access to a communal satellite dish.
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