Posted by The Marketing Team,
Mar 04, 2014
Do you remember the early scenes of the classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory film?
Charlie is peering through the window of the local sweet shop, shaking his head in sad disdain at all the smiling, spoilt children inside having sweets thrown all over them. They’re in and he isn’t and he can only catch a glimpse of what’s inside, knowing he’s unlikely to ever afford the privilege of going into the shop with the other children.
So why am I talking about Charlie?
As part of a new £600m commitment to the Sky Owned portfolio, Sky First Episodes was born on February 1st; a platform which allows users to watch first episodes from Sky on YouTube. Naomi Gibney, Sky director of entertainment, marketing and digital, said: “The combination of Sky First Episodes and a TV campaign featuring entire clips from our biggest and best series means that now everyone has the chance to sample Sky shows.”
Just a taste…
Sky are attempting to utilise the ever-growing VOD space and have extended their content to a new video platform in the hope they will generate more subscribers, just as the sweet shop owner enticed children with his shiny shelves of sweets. It is growing increasingly important in such a media-saturated world that brands are now confident in their platform choices for the mutual benefit of both the company and customers. A brand must now ask: ‘How appropriate is this medium for our business objectives and what will it actually do for us and our customers?’ In other words, how can Sky build long-term relationships between its customers and their content?
Sky’s new service provides first episodes and scene teasers plus behind the scenes footage to non-Sky subscribers via YouTube. What’s the catch? In order to view more episodes, viewers must subscribe to Sky. This brings me back to Charlie, who did indeed desire what the other children had inside the sweet shop. However, no matter how enticing the shop was, it just reminded him of what he didn’t have and couldn’t afford. In other words, if Charlie had been able to afford to go into the sweet shop, it is likely he would have. And we all remember how disappointed Charlie was when he eventually got a chocolate bar but it didn’t hold the golden ticket. His hopes were raised, his anticipation built but then he was let down by not being able to continue his chocolate journey without having to purchase further.
Outside of providing first episodes and behind the scenes footage, Sky’s new service seems to be lacking a real reason for customers to continue their journey. Ultimately, the key to Sky’s advantage over competitor platforms is the ownership of experience opportunities for consumers. This is something which is growing increasingly important in a world bored of materialism, hence the popularity of Twitter and Facebook where consumers can share their experiences and discuss their excitement. OTT platforms such as Netflix have also hit the nail on the head by providing exclusive, exciting content available only to subscribers and which gets people talking. At the end of January this year, they passed the 44 million user mark, and have stated: “It's been a good year for Netflix. People around the world want what we offer: consumer-in-control internet television.”
Instead of simply providing an outlet to view programming, Sky need to create noise and excitement around their content; get customers talking and sharing; start creating and joining conversations; tap into the ‘content experience’ and begin adding an extra value dimension to their offerings, perhaps creating media events around their programmes. So take note Sky, it’s time to open those sweet shop doors and offer more than a penny sweet sample and a window view.
Written by Jessica Venner from Total Media
Jess works as part of the TV team and loves strategy, customer/client relationship-building and a half-hourly snack or two.