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Sky CEO on iPhone model, original content, aggregation – The Hollywood Reporter

Sky will continue to increase its spending on original content and is betting on iPhone-like revenue opportunities through new technologies, such as a recently launched broadband TV, which offers monthly payment plans, CEO Dana Strong said at a conference in London on Thursday. .

Discuss Sky’s focus on growing its original content, with past successes such as Chernobyl, she said the company plays a “huge role” in the UK’s “cultural economy” with more than £500m (over $610m) spent on original content this year across more than 200 originals , more than three times its 2019 release, she said at the Media and Telecoms 2022 & Beyond conference, organized by Deloitte and Enders Analysis. Sky has steadily increased its initial budget in recent years, with parent company Comcast repeatedly stressing its commitment to continue accelerating spending.

The opening of the Sky Studios Elstree production complex in a few months will bring $3 billion worth of productions to the UK over five years, it has announced. Importantly, “we’ve done a great job with several different voices”, ensuring that “the range of storytelling…is now very full and inclusive”.

Providing its own content and the offerings of other broadcasters and media companies these days makes it an increasingly important question for Sky: “How can we connect consumers to content”.

Sky Glass, a broadband TV that doesn’t require a satellite dish to access the company’s full range of services and new features, including a playlist that compiles content from various services, launched in the UK United in October and is rolling out to other markets this year.

“Technological innovation has always been at the core” for Sky, Strong explained, noting that Sky Glass changes sound and colors depending on, for example, whether people are watching movies or sports.

The CEO also called Sky Glass “our future innovation hub”. And she said the company would roll out Sky Stream, a streaming device, and also offer cameras to enable common experiences for viewers. Content aggregation is a key strategy for Sky, enabling consumers to access Sky and other content. “The core of what we do for consumers is that we aggregate great content and make it available for customers to choose what they want to watch,” she said, calling Sky Glass “a platform for us”.

Targeting an increasingly “streaming-based” audience in this way also opens up Sky to new consumer segments at affordable prices and creates opportunities for revenue generation, Strong said. The cost of the Sky Glass device depends on its size, starting at 649 pounds ($881.88) or 13 pounds ($17.65) per month. Strong said it changed the company to “the iPhone model, effectively” through monthly fees for owning the device. Strong said it was “a great next step in how we make Sky available”.

Noting that it’s been nearly 18 months since she took over Sky, Strong said the company is “rebounding extraordinarily well” from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. And “we’re really on the move” with technological innovations, such as Sky Glass, and the SkyShowtime streaming joint venture with Paramount Global, formerly known as ViacomCBS. After the partners received “full regulatory approval” earlier this year, the company will launch a new subscription video-on-demand service in more than 20 European territories, including Spain, Portugal, the Down, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland this year. The territories encompass 90 million households.

Comcast acquired European pay-TV giant Sky in one of the media industry’s biggest deals of 2018. In January 2021, it named Strong CEO, succeeding Jeremy Darroch who decided to leave its functions. Strong, who reports to Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, previously served as President of Consumer Services for Comcast Cable and was more than 25 years of international experience in telecommunications and media. Previously, she also worked as President and COO of Virgin Media in the UK, Director of Transformation at John Malone’s Liberty Global, as well as COO of Austar in Australia.

Last fall, Strong told an industry conference that Sky would be looking to expand across mainland Europe in the coming years, boost its content creation business and increase diversity. “There is no doubt that we can all do better” on diversity, she said at the time.

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