What do you want to watch?
BSkyB reported results and had a conference call today, and there were a couple of interesting points in it. Penetration of the Sky+ PVR now stands at 6.4% of the total base. In fact Sky+ net additions outstripped overall net additions by 15k in the quarter, and management remarked that a quarter of new Sky+ customers were also new to Sky itself, suggesting that there is indeed some marketing magic in PVRs, at least in one segment of the market. CEO James Murdoch characterized BT as a "good partner," and in the next breath said that the TV-over-DSL product being trialled by BT is not competitive. However, ARPU is down GBP3 in Q1, to GBP377, and with most of the growth in the market coming in at the low end of the market (and cable punching above its weight in its small footprint), the long-term ARPU target of GBP400 looks challenging, to say the least.
Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to be working on a "conventional" report on Sky, but it will mainly focus on some of the longer term challenges stemming from technological, behavioral, and demographic changes. In putting it together I'm finding that a lot of the issues I'm addressing are things which have been addressed in this blog previously. Some of those are ideas which were brought to my attention by helpful readers of this blog, or indeed by reading the work of other bloggers. I'm coming to the conclusion that this is an interesting point of interface between "traditional" research and blogging, and that rather than being separate phenomena, in this case they seem to be informing each other. Rather than a semi-random series of posts and irreverent commentary, I am finding that my blog in this particular instance is a nice resource to have, a kind of mental scratchpad for ideas that can come in very handy when it comes time to synthesize all of this into some sort of more coherent and rigorous output.