Media & Technology

Sky - innovation, design and build for the UK’s most successful TV platform

We worked with Sky over a period of 8 years to invent, design and scale their digital on demand TV platform

We helped Sky envision, design and build their digital TV on demand offer over a period of 8 years, rolling the Sky platform and product set out over a range of devices from iPads to Xboxes and smartphones.

Building a Vision

When Sky came to us their customers mainly accessed their content and services using set-top boxes and satellite dishes. However, Sky knew that new digital platforms were developing rapidly, representing both a threat and an opportunity and wanted us to help explore how people might use these emerging new Internet and mobile technologies. Our starting point was to help them build a vision that explored how their customers would consume content over the next five years, and how they might be able to serve these new, emerging behaviours and needs.

Prototyping the Future

We took the vision and developed a range of prototypes that we tested with users to help understand how we might build a product around the needs of Sky's customers. These prototypes also helped build internal support for the new digital vision.

Rolling out the Platform

The first product we built and launched rolled out on XBox, the first non-Sky owned platform to host their content. The Xbox product was hugely successful, opening up new, previously untapped audiences for Sky. We then rolled out the Sky on-demand proposition to a range of platforms from iPad to smartphone over the next eight years, doing the prototyping, design and front-end build for the first set of product roll outs.

They have a way of working that consistently pushes the boundaries whilst simultaneously keeping all stakeholders happy

Nick James

Transformation and Handover

Over the years it became clear to Sky that new digital platforms were going to be a core commercial focus rather than an interesting addition to their portfolio. So we helped them define a new way of integrating their innovation workstreams with business as usual so they could maintain their position as a market leading innovator. We also helped them set up an internal product and visual design team, defining processes and ways of working before handing over to them. Our eight year engagement with Sky finished in the same way it started - with a vision piece that looked at how their new digital platforms would evolve over the next five years. This vision helped define the roadmap for Sky Q.

The Results

Sky's on demand offer has been the leader in UK cross-platform experience since it launched. It helped Sky grow their business, and won a Bafta. It's still rated the number one TV application in the UK, despite competition from Netflix and a range of new streaming platforms.

Sky is still rated the number one TV application in the UK, despite competition from Netflix and a range of new streaming platforms.

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