What will Now TV do for Sky?
Now TV, the streaming service powered by Sky, launches today (July 17th 2012). But what will it mean for the satellite broadcaster and the wider pay TV market?
First, the basics. Now TV offers subscription-free access to Sky Movies and is currently available on PC, Mac and selected Android devices.
Rather than signing up for a basic Sky bundle and adding Sky Movies for £16 per month, Now TV allows you to rent titles for as little as 99p, with the latest blockbusters costing £3.49 each.
If you don't want to pay as you go, you can choose the Sky Movies Pass, which for £15 per month provides instant and unlimited access to the broadcaster's catalogue of more than 600 films, including new releases from the major Hollywood studios.
To sweeten the deal, Sky is currently offering a 30-day free trial to anyone signing up for the Sky Movies Pass.
Sky has made it clear the proposition is aimed firmly at the 13 million or so UK households that don't currently pay for their TV service.
However, it's not altogether clear if Now TV is likely to succeed in winning over this demographic.
Given that the proposition currently only offers films, it'll find itself up against LOVEFiLM and Netflix - and at £15 a month, Now TV costs more than twice as much as either of these rival services.
So who's going to sign up for Now TV? There's no doubt that Sky has the content and marketing budget to attract plenty of subscribers, and the addition of Sky Sports to the proposition later this year will be a major boost.
That said, it remains to be seen whether the service will really appeal to those 13 million elusive non-pay TV customers, or if it will actually end up cannibalising Sky's existing subscriber base.
One thing's for sure - BT and Virgin Media will be watching with interest to see how popular Now TV proves.
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