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Pricing & Verdict

Gordon Kelly

By Gordon Kelly
Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
1

Summary

Our Score

8/10

Review Price free/subscription

Pricing

This deserves its own section because it is crucial to the success of Sky Go as a whole. Previously Sky Mobile TV cost £8 per month or £35pm for access on both an iPhone and iPad. It was scandalous for a service already under pressure for milking its customers for pay per view content and HD charges on top of their monthly subscriptions. It was also the death knell for mass adoption.

7

Where Sky Go stands to win is Sky customers with a subscription to Sky Sports 1 and 2 now get free access. This is harsh on movie fans, but with six sports channels available from launch and the Premier League season kick-off fast approaching it is the clear they are the focus of Sky's initial mobile ambitions. Besides movies can be watched later whereas sports' biggest attraction is when live. The Sky Go fine print rather miserly restricts registration to two devices at any one time, though these can be swapped over using the Sky Go website.

Interestingly non-Sky subscribers can also access the service paying £15-£40pm depending on their channel selection. In an era where fitting of satellites will be increasingly challenged by the simplicity of broadband as a delivery method this is a smart and necessary development of Sky's business model, much as was Sky TV on Xbox. The downside is those without Sky Sports 1 and 2 are treated like non-subscribers, which must surely change over time. In addition Sky continues to ignore other smartphone platforms and Sky Go remains an iOS only app for now.

10

Verdict

The key aspect to Sky Go is Sky is evolving. With our television viewing quickly expanding beyond the living room the broadcaster has finally come up with a solution which should please loyal customers and help retain those thinking of leaving. It is by no means perfect with video quality poor on both web and desktop, but the mobile apps and centralised parental controls impress greatly. Channel selection isn’t vast, but the key stations are present from day one and numbers are promised to increase.

Just as important is pricing. Sky customers are well aware of the huge amounts they pay out each month and this will help add value back into the outlay. Meanwhile new Sky customers could be attracted by getting access to the top channels without a formal satellite installation. News Corp. has raised the bar and while it needs to be raised further it is the benchmark rivals like Virgin must now meet and try to surpass.

Scores In Detail

Design
8/10
Features
7/10
Performance
7/10
Usability
9/10
Value
9/10

Our Score

8/10
Previous page

A Scotland

August 10, 2011, 5:32 pm

I wonder if they have fixed the streaming consistency.

I used to have the Sky Mobile TV app for a £6 per month subscription, which actually would have been a bargain given I did not have to subscribe to sky sports on my TV package to do this. Effectively I got all sports channels including ESPN for £6 per month provided I watched on my iphone. This would have been perfect except that any half popular football match used to freeze for regularly for 30 second intervals presumably due to over subscription of the service. If they have not fixed this issue then it is useless for watching popular live sport.

Gary

August 11, 2011, 3:24 am

Seems to have some teething problems, signed up to sky go, downloaded the application. But can not find any free programs, keeps asking me to buy a program or subscribe to sky!

Gary

August 11, 2011, 3:35 am

I think I must have misunderstood, the app is free but i still need to have some sort of sky subscription to download. You show devil in one screenshot as downloading, if i go to devil on sky go i get the option to link an existing sky subscription or buy a sky subscription.

Gordon394

August 12, 2011, 7:39 am

I'm a little confused at your confusion Gary. There is a full section explaining pricing. You need to be a Sky subscriber who subscribes to Sky Sports 1 & 2 to get access to the app for free otherwise there are costs involved.

Matt G Baish

August 12, 2011, 2:59 pm

IMHO: This will never be a runaway success with non-Sky subscribers until they have reasonable pay-per-view or online-only subs pricing. Stack 'em high, sell 'em cheap is the way to go. I would likely watch a ton of sports/sky programs for 1-2 pound a pop - i.e. they need to target the no-brainer price range (as per, for example, the majority of android apps).

dlorde

August 13, 2011, 3:57 am

Disappointing - the new Sky Go service isn't available on Android devices, and, although you can download it to an iPod Touch, it won't work (not compatible), so it has a more restricted availability than the Sky Mobile TV it supersedes... kind of a backward step. Why not just stop charging for Sky Mobile TV instead?

Multi-platform support isn't rocket science these days, it's pretty much expected - this limited launch really doesn't inspire confidence.

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