Sky Introduces New Binge Watching Features to Sky+
Though many people will stress the impact YouTube has had on our broader media consumption habits, for those that pay attention, it’s clear that the more influential service has been Netflix.
Thanks to Netflix, the way we enjoy TV has changed fundamentally. A move away from scheduled weekly broadcasting in favour of series ‘dumps’ all at once has meant that so-called ‘binge watching’ of series has exploded in popularity. Now, we’re used to sitting down with a pile of snacks and digging into a 6 hour marathon of our favourite new series.
For companies like Sky, that’s posed a problem. After all, how do you bring binge watching features to a service which traditionally relies on the traditional weekly schedule? Well, they’ve got the answer, and it involves cribbing some of Netflix’s best features.
In a press release, Europe’s biggest pay TV provider have introduced Auto Play and Catch Up Series Link, new features which means customers can binge watch an addictive new box set or easily series link their favourite catch-up TV show for later viewing.
Sky imagine that the new features will benefit customers streaming hit shows like The Night Of, which has already been downloaded and streamed more than 5 million times across Sky’s platforms. Other favourites like Millions, The Blacklist and Grey’s Anatomy are also expected to benefit from the new features as customers settle in for multi-episode binges of those wonderful shows.
Perhaps most interestingly of all though, Sky are bringing these features exclusively to Sky+ users. This comes at a time when Sky are phasing out their long-running Sky+ box in favour of their new Sky Q system. It’s a remarkable show of commitment to what is a 16 year old platform and is almost certainly going to go down well on the Sky telephone number with customers who have yet to upgrade to Sky Q.
Indeed, they’re just the latest in a series of updates that have come to the platform in the last 12 months. But what do these new features add?
First up is Auto Play, which, as you’d imagine, auto plays the next episode of what you’re watching automatically without you having to lift a finger. Now when customers get to the end of an episode, the next one will automatically start to play provided it’s already downloaded to their Planner.
There’s now also Catch Up Series Link, which allows customers to easily set a series link on a catch up TV programme. It’s a simple feature, but one that Sky+ customers will be delighted to see finally implemented.
Luke Bradley-Jones, Director of TV and content products, commented: “We know our customers love the freedom to easily watch episode after episode of their favourite TV shows, which is why we continue to invest in new features for Sky+. So whether it’s binge watching addictively good box sets like Billions and The Blacklist, or catching up on your favourite series, including Ray Donovan or A League Of Their Own, Auto Play and Catch Up Series Link give customers the flexibility to watch their favourite shows the way they want.”
The new update is available now for Sky+ boxes and will automatically download and install during downtime.