Sky and Google have announced they are to work together to develop content for Sky's broadband customers and share advertising revenue generated though those customers.
Sky will be creating its own video site on the lines of YouTube, using technology provided by Google (YouTube's owner). Google will also provide the technology and servers for the Sky email service (addresses ending in what is described as the "popular @sky.com" moniker), which will have much the same interface and capabilities as Google Mail.
More interesting is the agreement that Google will provide access to applications such as contact management and calendar services as well as instant messaging. VoIP services are mentioned, but only as something that Sky is interested in examining for the future.
Sky and Google will also "explore future forms of web, TV and mobile advertising", and will be sharing revenue generated by click-throughs on sponsored links.
Sky lacks any great experience in IP services, so a deal with Google makes sense for it, and maintaining control of the services will be key in a world where service provider and access provider are increasingly becoming separate entities.
Quite how well the corporate cultures of Sky and Google, which are somewhat diverse, will work together remains to be seen. ®