Netflix signs landmark deal with Sky, also plans to introduce new app features

Netflix signs landmark deal with Sky, also plans to introduce new app features
Netflix seems set to dominate the subscription streaming marketplace in 2018 as it has entered into a landmark content sharing agreement with Sky. Moreover, the popular OTT platform also plans to introduce some newer app features this year which will make it more user-friendly than before. Shashank Venkat brings you the details

In a move that signals Netflix’s growing clout in the media and publishing industry, the company has just signed a content sharing deal with Europe-based subscription broadcaster Sky. Under this agreement, Sky will make Netflix content available to subscribers under a new entertainment TV pack on Sky Q (where content from Sky and Netflix will be available together). The benefit for Sky viewers is that they will not have to pay separately for Netflix and Sky services. The service is expected to roll out in the UK and Ireland first, and will then be launched to other European nations, with pricing yet to be confirmed.

The partnership has firmly established Netflix as the streaming service of choice for consumers as well as other media businesses. As Sky and other rival services battle it out in the highly competitive European Pay TV market, Netflix seems to be the clear winner here as deals like this are a recognition of the quality of content available on the streaming platform. Netflix has already inked deals with BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Deutsche Telekom.

Netflix’s rise also signals a larger trend among viewers who increasingly prefer the flexibility, convenience and cost-effectiveness that come with streaming services. According to a Wired report, Netflix grew its UK subscriptions by 170 percent over the last year, whereas Sky saw a decline of around 6 percent. Moreover, the younger audience is more prone to the cord-cutting syndrome as over 50 percent in the 16-24 age group and more than 40 percent in the 25-34 age band have a Netflix subscription.

Moreover, Netflix continues to invest heavily in improving its platform features. We have always maintained that Netflix is as much a technology company as it is a media company. It already boasts of a super-smooth, unintrusive subscription management platform which enables it to build loyalty within its subscriber base, and the company now plans to bring previews of shows and movies on its mobile app. With this feature, subscribers would be able to sample content with 30-second video previews. Netflix has also improved its parental control features which can help parents better control their kids’ viewing time. The move seems to be in preparation for Disney’s impending streaming service, which will be a big draw for kids. Netflix is also keeping a close eye on the evolution of Virtual Reality (VR) systems.

Last year, Netflix announced that it would offer bandwidth-efficient technology for in-flight entertainment; subscribers have also been given the option to download episodes and movies for offline viewing. Furthermore, Netflix has been experimenting with interactive content for its TV shows aimed at kids. This is a clear signal that the company sees technology as a valuable asset as it looks to consolidate its pole position in subscription streaming services.The true Netflix experience is a combination of two factors - the visible content that attracts viewers, and the (almost) invisible technology that engages and retains them.

That being said, any OTT streaming service is only as good as its content, and that’s where Netflix’s content library stands out from competitors. The company’s shows continue to gain popularity with a string of successes like House of Cards, Stranger Things and The Crown to boast about.There were concerns about Netflix’s increasing pile of debt and a $20bn estimated expenditure on programming in the next five years. However, the subscription platform’s impressive subscriber growth seems to indicate that it’s heading in the right direction.

With Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, expecting $15bn in subscription revenues in 2018, the streaming giant seems to be way ahead of its peers at the moment. Will the Netflix dominance continue unabated in 2018? Do let us know in the comments section below.

(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)