By Evan DeSimone
Sky is set to join the streaming content race in a serious way with hits hybrid set-top satellite service, Sky Q.
The service, which launches today, will combine Sky’s substantial linear offerings with additional content licensed from a variety of digital partners to create one of the largest content bundles currently available to U.K. audiences. Viewers will be able to watch on up to five screens at once. The set-top product also comes with a “plug and play” product called the Sky Q mini, which also serves as a mobile wifi hot spot.
The service is separate from Sky’s existing Satellite and OTT services, and offers a hybridized experience for consumers. Sky Q users will have access to live and streaming content and will have the option to pause and rewind live broadcast. The service will also aid in content discovery with algorithmic recommendations based on subscribers viewing habits.
The product is Sky’s way of taking aim at streaming providers like Netflix, which have been steadily encroaching on the pat TV market as audiences switch to cordless entertainment options. Sky Q will offer content in 4K video, currently the gold standard for high definition, and give viewers an array of content, including live broadcast television and content packaged from a variety of digital publishers.
Among those publishers will be boutique women’s lifestyle multi-channel network Kin Community, which has signed on as one of the service’s inaugural content partners. The deal will offer Kin a wider audience for its DIY and lifestyle video content outside of its traditional digital platforms. Sky currently boasts an audience of over 21 million throughout the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria, and Italy. Starting today those users will have the opportunity to upgrade to Sky Q.