Sky reports best customer growth in three years

game-of-thrones-1600BSkyB reported its highest customer growth in three years, with TV expansion alone double that of the previous year.

Announcing results for the 12 months ended June 30, 2014, the UK satcaster said that it added 3.1 million new paid-for products, 23% higher than the previous year, and recorded a total of 342,000 new customers.

In terms of TV growth, Sky added 264,000 customers in the year – its strongest growth since it hit the 10 million-mark in 2010. Sky ended its fiscal fourth quarter with a total of 10.69 million TV product customers.

Sky said that more than 50% of its TV customers are now web-connected, driving threefold increase in on-demand usage, with Sky having focused on promoting the up-take and use of connected TV services over the last year.

“We connected 3 million Sky+HD boxes to broadband in the year, more than doubling our base of connected homes to 5.7 million, over 50% of all Sky TV customers,” said Sky.

The number of customers for Sky’s cross-device VOD service Sky Go increased by 19% over the year to 5.5 million, with viewing up by a quarter to 16 million sessions a week by the end of the year.

Sky did not announce figures relating to its OTT service NOW TV, however it did say that one in five NOW TV customers take both entertainment and movies monthly passes.

“Our investment to increase take-up and usage of new connected TV services is delivering excellent results. After connecting three million boxes this year, more than half of TV customers now have access to our market-leading on-demand services and the benefits are coming through in increased viewing, satisfaction and loyalty,” said Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch, who today also announced the takeovers of Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia.

“Our expanded Box Sets offering has been a particular hit among customers with Game of Thrones, 24 and Grey’s Anatomy each achieving over 10 million downloads over the course of the year.”

“We are also making good progress in developing new revenue streams. More than one million customers now take our premium mobile TV service, Sky Go Extra, and we’ve opened up the movie purchase market with our Buy & Keep service in Sky Store. In addition, Sky Bet grew strongly and we attracted new advertisers to Sky with our targeted advertising service AdSmart.”

For the year, adjusted revenue – excluding revenues earned from the discontinued retailing of the ESPN channel – increased 7% to £7.61 billion US$12.91 billion). However, operating profit was down 5.3% to £1.26 billion and EBITDA declined slightly to £1.67 billion.