There has been some blue sky thinking at Sky: the company is describing their latest Sky Q package as ‘the next-generation home entertainment system’. It’s a big statement. It’s also a package that is hard to resist.
There are a number of notable benefits including a user interface that recommends TV based on what you usually watch and at what time of day, the ability to use voice control, and access to your account across multiple screens and devices without losing progress or recordings when switching.
But the changes that may well cause more of a stir are the partnerships with two big brands; Netflix and Spotify. On the Sky Q menu customers will now see Sky and Netflix content side-by-side, with no need to flick between two separate platforms. And Spotify will have its own dedicated app on the Sky Q platform with customers able to stream music through their TV.
These partnerships got us here at TVE thinking about the world of bundles. Spotify and Netflix are already essentially a bundle proposition. Pay a monthly fee and you will have access to content across multiple devices. Sky in the same vain is also already a bundle in and of itself.
Interactions between bundle services are not new, neither is the mix between content streaming services and hardware brands. It was only a few years ago that Netflix buttons started appearing on remotes for smart TVs, offering an easier and faster shift onto the Netflix platform.
But Sky has taken a much bigger step; they are bundling the bundles. Through this master bundle, Sky creates a much more fluid and seamless journey for the customer, and really does start to become ‘the next-generation home entertainment system’.
This fluid journey isn’t just beneficial for the customer, but for Sky, as they are now able to completely own the user journey. Even when watching Netflix, Sky Q customers will be doing so through Sky, bringing all entertainment under their brand’s umbrella.
The bundling of bundles is certainly a powerful proposition, offering an ecosystem of entertainment all in one place, owned by one brand.
So what’s the future? Will the bundling of bundles be the next big race in the hardware and entertainment spaces? Which brands have the right to play? And do the little players need to be worried about being subsumed and effectively branded as someone else?
In Bundle the Bundles Part 2 we will think about the world of bundles in the telecoms and mobile networks sector.