Sky Q takes another big leap forward

Next major wave of product innovation, and Spotify set to launch in spring
Sky announces the next stage in the development of Sky Q, Europe’s best home entertainment experience. Beginning next month, Sky will progressively roll out product features that will make the Sky Q experience even better.

At the same time, Sky Group is announcing a new partnership with the world’s leading music subscription service Spotify. Starting first in the UK and Ireland, the partnership will offer customers easier access to more of the entertainment they love. 

Sky Q Innovation
Sky Q will continue to be enhanced with multiple new features making it even easier for customers to find and enjoy content they love.  
Greater personalisation based on a household’s viewing habits will ensure customers are served content most relevant to them. At the same time, Sky Q’s Voice functionality will be extended to give customers the ability to ask for personalised recommendations such as “show movies for me”.

In order to create an even better viewing experience, a new, wide-screen, user interface will be introduced and the amount of Ultra HD content available will double this year, with over 1,000 hours of UHD content on Sky including the whole Spider-Man franchise.

Sky Q will become one of the safest places for kids to watch TV with the introduction of a new Kids mode, giving parents peace of mind over what their children can access and watch whilst at the same time offering a fun environment for younger audiences. The reach and accessibility of Sky Q will also be extended with the ability to stream content to more devices at the same time, plus a Sky Q app will become available on Smart TVs and third party devices.

Further detail on Sky Q innovation can be found in the notes to editors.

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Spotify on Sky Q
In spring, the world’s leading music subscription service, Spotify, will launch on Sky Q in the UK and Ireland. Along with the recently launched Sky Soundbox, this partnership will offer customers a simple set-up for a high quality home music solution.

With over 35 million songs, customers can find music from global superstars such as Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Drake, or browse Spotify’s library of curated playlists such as Hot Hits UK, Easy 90s and Massive Dance Hits within the Sky Q homepage and via the Spotify app.

Customers will be able to use the ad-supported Spotify service for free, or log in to their premium account.
Along with Sky Soundbox, customers will be able to augment their existing Sky Q audio services, including the ability to stream to TV speakers via AirPlay or Bluetooth.

Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, Sky commented:Sky Q keeps getting better and better. With this suite of innovation, we are taking the user experience to another level - and we won’t stop there. We will continue enhancing Sky Q and finding new ways to bring customers more of what they love, and in so doing ensure we appeal to every household and every one in that household. With Spotify joining our Sky Q platform, we are giving customers the best home entertainment experience in Europe.”

Stephen van Rooyen, Chief Executive, UK and Ireland, Sky, added: “The new features we have announced today represent a further step change for Sky Q and we are confident customers are going to love them. At the same time, by adding Spotify to the platform in the UK and Ireland, we are offering customers the very best in home entertainment all in one place. The arrival of the world’s biggest and most popular music streaming service is a great addition to the platform as it will allow TV buffs and music fans to switch between their favourite shows, online video apps and music in an instant.”

Jorge Espinel, VP of Business Development, Spotify, commented: “Spotify and Sky share a focus on innovation, disruption and delivering an excellent experience to our customers. We're delighted that consumers in the UK and Ireland will soon have another means to listen to all the music and podcasts they love on Spotify via Sky Q.  The partnership between Spotify and Sky will offer consumers the chance to enjoy great entertainment from two leading media brands, and we are excited for what the future of the partnership may bring."

Notes to editors
The next suite of product developments coming to Sky Q includes:

  • Voice functionality extended to give personalised recommendations - e.g. “show movies for me” - and app specific requests – e.g. “what is the weather today?”
  • More personalised experience throughout the user interface, with use of deeper Machine Learning and detailed algorithms based on a household’s viewing habits, including reflecting times of day, ensuring customers are served content most relevant to them.
  • The Sports section will be personalised to reflect customer’s favourite sports and teams, seamlessly integrating with the Sky Sports app, ensuring customers always know what’s on and what the latest relevant news is.
  • Introduction of a brand new widescreen user interface which will help customers navigate a mixture of personalised and curated sections of content. A newly designed homepage including ‘Most Recent Recordings’ and ‘Favourite Channels’ along with editorially curated selections of Box Sets, Movies, and Catch-Up TV, will get customers to their favourite content quicker and easier than ever before. 
  • The viewing experience will be taken to another level with the launch of HDR, to give customers with 4K televisions the most stunning definition and clarity available.
  • New kids mode - integrated with the kids app - will make Sky Q more fun and interactive for younger audiences, while at the same time being a safer environment, giving parents peace of mind over what their children can access and watch.
  • Customers with multiple devices will be able to stream Sky content on the Sky Q app on even more devices at the same time - bringing even more flexibility to watching on the go.
  • A Sky Q app will also become available on smart TVs and third-party devices, allowing even more people to enjoy the Sky Q experience.

About Sky
Sky is Europe's leading entertainment company, serving 23 million customers across seven countries - UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. The company had annual reported revenues of £12.9 billion in 2016/17, and is Europe’s leading investor in television content with an annual programming spend of around £7 billion.

From exclusive partnerships with HBO, Showtime and Warner Bros. to Sky Original Productions, Sky offers the best and broadest range of content along with the best viewing experience to suit each and every customer. Whether that���s through the multi-award winning next generation box, Sky Q, or Sky’s contract-free online streaming service, NOW TV, customers have access to the latest movies, drama, sports and kids entertainment wherever and whenever they like. This is all supported by Sky’s best in class customer service.
Sky’s success is not just based on what the company does but how it does it. Named as one of the Top 10 Green Companies in the World by Newsweek, one of the world’s most recognised rankings of business’s environmental performance, Sky ensures its responsible business strategy is embedded right across the group.

Three new major commitments have been launched for Sky’s corporate campaign Sky Ocean Rescue; the reduction of our own single-use plastics by 2020; an investment fund of £25 million over five years in technology solutions; and support of marine protected areas across our markets.

Sky has over 31,000 employees and is listed as one of The Times Top 50 employers for women. Sky is listed on the London Stock Exchange (SKY).

About Spotify
Spotify transformed music listening forever when we launched in 2008.

Our mission is to unlock the potential of human creativity by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by these creators. Everything we do is driven by our love for music.

Discover, manage, and share over 35 million tracks for free, or upgrade to Spotify Premium to access exclusive features including offline mode, improved sound quality, Spotify Connect and ad-free listening.

Today, we are the world’s largest global music streaming subscription service with a community of over 140 million users, including over 70 million Spotify Premium subscribers, across 61 markets.

For more information, images, or to contact the press team, please head over to our press page at http://press.spotify.com/.

For further information:

Sky:
Amy Holland: amy.holland@sky.uk

Spotify:
Alison Bonny: alison@spotify.com