Pay-TV broadcaster looks to challenge Apple iTunes Store with digital shop delivering directly to TV set
BSkyB is to challenge Apple’s iTunes Store and other online retailers with a new movie download-to-own on demand service, Buy and Keep.
The new service, which will launch in the coming weeks, will sit alongside BSkyB’s existing pay-per-view film rental service Sky Store service, according to Andrew Griffith, the company’s chief financial officer.
Griffith said Buy and Keep would target families with Sky subscriptions who previously purchased DVDs but found it increasingly convenient to purchase films electronically.
Sky is looking to tap into the UK DVD market, which although in decline was still worth £1.4bn last year according to the Entertainment Retailers Association figures. UK revenues for downloads, streams and subscriptions were up 40% year-on-year to £621m, helping the total video-to-own market to grow in 2013 for the first time in five years.
The service will have an array of competitors including Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Tesco’s Blinkbox.
“Having made a strong start in rentals, we think we can go one step further and actually start offering customers the opportunity to purchase movies from us and keep them forever,” Griffith said, disclosing details of BSkyB’s Buy and Keep service at the Guardian’s Changing Media Summit in London on Tuesday. “We think we are extremely well positioned to enter the market and take share.”
He added that Buy and Keep will “have all the flexibility and the convenience of a digital store but all delivered to your TV set with instant access through the touch of a button the Sky remote”.
Questioned on how significant Buy and Keep would be to BSkyB, Griffith said: “It’s a big market to go after. If you are going to target a big chunk of a £1.4bn [DVD] market place, then we’d expect it to be a material opportunity.”
Pricing for the service, which will be available through the main Sky+ set top box and other devices, has yet to be decided.
Earlier on Tuesday in a related move BSkyB announced details of an overhaul to its electronic programme guide, to make on demand services including Sky Store more easily accessible for subscribers.
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