Sky's tech bets pay off: Pay TV firm unveils blazing growth for Q1

Oooh... everyone's going to watch on their iPad. NOT

Sky posted record numbers as its tech bets continue to pay off.

BskyB’s ARPU (average revenue per customer) reached £576, up £32 from two years ago, with triple-pay punters accounting for 37 per cent of its 15.5 million customer base. Just over 11.5 million of those are retail customers, and just over 4 million wholesale. The broadband offering has 5.3 million punters in the UK, with the proportion on shared LLU (SMPF) falling to 16 per cent.

Overall, quarterly revenue was £1.92bn for Q1 FY 2015, up six per cent year on year, with profit up 11 per cent from a year ago at £316m.

The fiver-a-month Sky Go Extra, which allows subscribers to view shows offline for a fiver a month, bagged 1.48 million subscribers, up 309,000 from the previous quarter.

Just as Wi-Fi was predicted to cause the death of the mobile network operator, the TV technology explosion was supposed to bring about the extinction of the satellite and cable dinosaurs.

New displays like the iPad, and new over-the-top-services would lead to "cord-cutting" and the incumbents’ eventual demise. And in some markets this effect is evident. But Sky has ridden the trend – unbundling its own services and spending heavily on taming the multi-screen world, by adding convenience and value. For example, Sky Go Extra was launched only two years ago, and Now TV, which unbundles the network into four OTT offerings, provides access starting at a fiver a month.

All this means Sky now measures its success in the number of subscription products (35,535) and adds subscribers who never fancied installing a dish. Last year BskyB saw customer growth of 33 per cent and annual TV customer additions of 97 per cent, attributing the growth to, amongst other things, binge viewing of "box sets".

The company isn’t resting on its laurels. It’s currently spending heavily on "Project Ethan", a major technology upgrade that will support 4K and a cloud locker.

More figures from Sky here. ®

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