Sky’s top marketer adds digital to his beat

The role of Sky’s top marketer Stephen van Rooyen has been expanded as he takes on the task of assessing how the brand’s digital products and marketing can perform better together.

Stephen van Rooyen
Stephen van Rooyen’s role has been expanded to reflect his responsibility for Sky’s co-ordination of digital media opportunities.

His job title – managing director of sales marketing and brand – has this week changed to chief marketing and digital officer.

Sky confirmed he will take on increased responsibility to co-ordinate marketing for digital products such as Sky Go, Now TV and on-demand as they move up the list of priorities for the business. He will also be charged with exploring new digital opportunities for Sky, both on the product and marketing side.

Creating new revenue streams is a key focus for Sky as its legacy subscription business faces increased competition from the likes of Netflix, BT Sport and the growing number of free video and entertainment channels online.

While Sky’s core businesses continue to “grow well”, new areas of the business were credited for helping “accelerate” revenues up 7 per cent year on year in the 12 months to 30 June. Over the past year Sky Store revenues doubled year on year, there was a 19 per cent increase in Sky Go customers and more than 1 million customers now take its premium mobile TV service Sky Go Extra.

In the full year results, Sky’s CEO Jeremy Darroch said: “Looking ahead, we see a broader opportunity for growth than ever before as we bring our core products to more customers and open up new revenue opportunities. After a successful year of investment, we are well placed to exploit these opportunities and continue to deliver growth and return for shareholders.”

Despite taking on a different job title, van Rooyen is not thought to be relinquishing previous responsibilities and the amount of direct reports into him is not expected to be changing.The job title change appears to reflect a wider strategy to strengthen Sky’s digital portfolio.

Last month the managing director of Sky’s WiFi product The Cloud Vince Russell was promoted to director of converged products. The wider role is responsible for working with teams across Sky to explore converged media opportunities across both the b2b and consumer business.

Sky was the top spending UK advertiser last year, increasing its expenditure 9.6 per cent year on year to £264m as it stepped up its marketing battle with BT Sport, according to Nielsen.

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