No sooner has US movie giant Netflix arrived in the UK and pissed all over Amazon’s LoveFilm scented bonfire than veritable broadcasting behemoth Sky enters the fray with the launch of the much vaunted NOW TV.
Sledgehammering their way into the lucrative internet TV market like a bull in a china shop, NOW TV might be somewhat late to the party, but Sky’s arrival is certain to shake up the burgeoning movie on-demand sector.
Primarily aimed at Sky ‘rejecters’, i.e. those consumers who dislike the hassle of a dish or the commitment of a steep subscription fee, NOW TV offers the benefits of Sky’s extensive movie catalogue without the hassle of forking out for the likes of MTV6 and Discovery Shed. With that in mind perhaps, the service is available either as a fully comp monthly Sky Movies Pass package, which weighs in at a slightly hefty £15 a month or as a pay as you go option. With major players Netflix and LoveFilm offering access to their services from just £4.99 a month, Sky will be hoping that the quality of their titles will be enough to entice punters their way.
They might just succeed too, as the primary gripe aimed at the current players is the lack of blockbuster content. In this respect, Sky hold many of the cards, as they are able to leverage their exclusivity deals with many of the major studios ensuring that they get the big guns before anyone else. Time will of course tell if NOW TV can make significant inroads into a market expected to be worth upwards of £379 million within the next year, but with platform deals already signed with the likes of Apple, Android, Xbox and the imminent YouView (welcome to the party sir, is that eau de Betamax you’re wearing?) and the clout of Sky behind it, one wouldn’t bet against it.
And if the likes of The Artist and X Men: First Class isn’t enough to cajole you into taking a peek, the glimpse I caught of The Chaperone (starring Triple H no less) at last week’s launch party definitely should.