Sky to up marketing spend as it gears up for BT battle

BSkyB is gearing up for its battle with BT by announcing an increase in marketing spend to showcase the mobile and subscription services it hopes will differentiate it from its fierce rival.

sky tv

The media company says it will up spend to push the expansion of mobile offering Sky Go, which will see 10 more channels added in September and the recently launched subscription multi-device download tool Sky Go Extra. 

The announcement comes as Sky releases results for the 12 months to 30 June showing the company in robust health. Increased take-up of paid-for services by existing customers, in particular internet connected Sky+HD boxes, on-demand downloads and Sky Store “video rentals” drove the average annual amount customers pay for its products up to £577 and revenue up 7 per cent in the period. Operating profit increased by 9 per cent to £1.3bn.

The results come less than a week before BT launches its Sport channel. BT has invested heavily in obtaining the rights to show 38 Premier League matches a season and marketing its new offering. It is looking to grow its lead in the broadband market by offering BT Sport, which launches 1 August, free to broadband customers. BT revealed yesterday (26 July) it has signed up 500,000 households to BT Sport.

Sky responded to the May announcement of BT’s pricing strategy by launching campaigns highlighting its own offers. It also launched a multi-million campaign starring David Beckham earlier this month to push its range of services.

Spend on marketing increased to £1.1bn in its last fiscal year, up from £1.06bn in the previous year although the company claims the outlay was down as a percentage of sales. 

The company’s investment in marketing has been reduced in recent years as it switches focus from acquisition to retention and upselling.

Sky also today (26 July) announced the launch of the NOW TV Box, which it says converts a TV into an internet-connected ‘smart’ TV. The box, which will cost £9.99, delivers the internet as well as its online-only offering Now TV over broadband to TV.

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